Tuesday, July 24, 2007


By Karithi A. Ngeera
The rot in Kenya can be squarely blamed on poor quality leadership. This in turn results from voters electing incompetent leaders at all levels due to their poor understanding of democracy and elective politics. Although Kenyans have attained reasonable levels of civic awareness since the clamour for multipartism started in 1990s, more needs to be done in form of civic and voter education.
Voter education is the dissemination of information, materials and programmes designed to inform voters about the specifics and mechanics of the voting process for a particular election. It covers issues like ; who is eligible to vote; where and how to register; checking voter lists in advance; what type of elections are being held; where, when and how to vote; who the candidates are; how to file complaints; election violence and other malpractices; voting methods and systems and any changes in election law among others.
Civic education on the other hand is broader and is aimed at motivating citizens to participate in elections and other democratic activities. It conveys knowledge of a country’s political system and context covering issues like; the system of government; the nature and powers of the offices to be filled in an election; the principal economic, social and political issues facing the nation; the value of democracy; the equal rights of all citizens; the importance of peace and national reconciliation, manner in which an honest election can contribute to peace, development and growth of democracy among others.
Voter education is effective when linked with a programme of civic education that puts the election into context and provides an explanation of the election’s purpose, the surrounding issues, and their significance. Since electoral and governance systems change over time, it is vital that civic education is continuous and hence the need to integrate it into the school system so that young citizens can appreciate and embrace democracy and elective politics early in life.
A massive voter and civic education is particularly vital and urgent in the run up to the 2007 general election due to the following:
The perennial low participation of women, youth and other marginalized groups needs to be arrested. Effective education accompanied with creative mobilization campaigns would bring more of them on board because when such an important constituency excludes itself from elections due to ignorance, apathy and sheer laziness, this makes a joke about the “freeness, fairness” of such an election.
Low voter registration is another problem that undermines the usefulness of elections. Regrettably, some areas only register thirty percent of the eligible voters. These people unwittingly lock themselves out of an important decision-making activity that often determines a country’s destiny increasing their own marginalization. Effective education and awareness campaigns can boost this figure to more reasonable levels like seventy percent.
Shocking still is the fact that even among the registered voters; a big number does not turn out to cast their ballots. This reeks of laziness and lopsided priorities among voters resulting from ignorance about the crucial role played by political leadership in their lives. This “non voting group” commits serious crimes against democracy because it “votes in” bad leaders by default because it fails to block them from being elected. This group needs help in form of education and awareness creation.
Voters who participate in election violence, bribery and other malpractices are a liability to the growth of democracy in Kenya. Effective education would liberate them to realize that by being used to do dirty work by politicians, they auction their destiny, that of their children and all their future generations. Informed voters who cannot resist bribes due to poverty can still make a right choice, since actual casting of the ballot is secret. It is worth noting that election violence is one of the factors that discourage women from participating in elections as both voters and candidates.
Voter education will also reduce retrogressive cultural practices that bar women and youth to participate in communal activities which includes political meetings, standing for elections and even voting. It will also reduce ridiculous practices whereby women are expected to vote according to instructions given by their husbands or parents.
Free, fair and genuine elections are also new in Kenya having taken root with the beginning of multipartyism in 1990s. During the single party dictatorship, elections were mere rituals of endorsing candidates “supported from above”. Voters therefore developed a mentality that their vote is inconsequential since elections were always rigged, sometimes in advance. People need to be educated now to realize that times have changed and their vote actually counts.
Regardless of the democratic steps that we have taken, Kenya is still in transition from single party dictatorship to a true democracy. Education is required to get the voters out of the old “victims of dictatorship mentality” and develop a new mindset of “liberated citizens” who determine their destiny as well as familiarize them with the new democratic institutions that we have been establishing and nurturing. There are also some archaic laws that parliament has scrapped but continue to be applied by local administrators because of people’s ignorance.
The many spoilt votes that are proudly announced by election officials should jolt our attention to the fact that these are people’s choices that electoral process miserably fails to capture and which may actually change who gets elected. Effective voter education can reduce this unnecessary “wastage of people’s genuine decisions”.
That tribalism greatly Kenya’s voting pattern is a great indictment on our failure as a country to educate the masses. It is only a very backward and ignorant voting population that equates belonging to the same tribe with possessing leadership qualities. This education, done effectively can root-out political miscreants who hide under tribal cocoons and continue conning their way back to leadership positions.
High illiteracy levels in Kenya means that many people do not understand democratic processes and elections. Illiterate voters need special packages in vernacular, simplified, and adapted to their specific situations and areas.
Special voter education programmes are also required for minority groups, internally displaced persons and other marginalized segments of society who naturally have high degrees of apathy. It will make them understand their rights and the importance of participating in elections and that by choosing good leaders they are attacking their marginalization and bringing themselves to the mainstream of the society.
Civic educators should also take advantage of tolerance for divergent views being experienced under this regime to educate the voting masses and make a lasting impression. It is worth noting that the 2002 general election became successful and largely free and fair because of the massive education campaigns that were conducted before the elections.
How should this education be conducted?
Given that elections are highly political, it is of paramount importance that civic and voter education is neutral, accurate and professionally done so that it is not seen to be favouring any political party or candidate. One coordinating body should ensure quality control and Electoral commission of Kenya would be the best suited for this role.
To be effective, the trainings should be multifaceted and a mix of approaches should be employed like: direct mailings to voters, street theatre, role playing, radio spots, jingles, songs, comic strips, Internet campaigns, brochures and pamphlets. This would reduce monotony and make the voters interested to learn. The trainings should also be gender sensitive, all inclusive and community-based.
In the long run voter and civic education should be integrated in school curriculum so that when children reach voting age they will already understand the basis of the national and local politics and electoral systems.
Who would participate in conducting this education?
Women and youth associations and groups are best placed to reach their members. They can be assisted to come up with messages that resonate with their members. The on-going Vijana Tugutuke campaign is a good attempt at this and should be rolled out countrywide not in selected number of urban centres.
The churches, synagogues, temples and mosques who are in touch with voters among their congregation at least once a week should utilize every opportunity, possibly take a few minutes after their services to instil civic awareness and also continuously carry out civic and voter education. The church has a sacred duty to guide their flock in matters that are important to their lives. Although man does not live on bread alone, it will be difficult to spread the word of God among hungry and sick congregation, hence their flock need a functioning democracy and economy to achieve some basic level of worldly comforts. The clergy cannot teach hungry people not to steal and expect to succeed.
Charitable organizations and related members of the civil society can bring their experience of developing educational materials into this. We have seen their excellent creativity in developing and disseminating materials for HIV/Aids education campaigns. They can also provide funding and logistics for implementing these trainings on the ground. They are also good at gender mainstreaming and can add the gender angle into the whole programme.
Political parties through their membership and organs are also a good vehicle for this education. These parties should stop senseless propaganda and ran genuine awareness campaigns that can take democracy in Kenya to the next level.
The media can play a key role in breaking down negative stereotypes of women, youth and marginalized people and encouraging their full participation. Media owners and managers should allow some free or at least subsidized airtime to civic educators to talk directly to the voters. They should allocate some free time for continuous civic and voter education as part of corporate social responsibility.
The electoral commission of Kenya would play a vital coordination and quality control role by: harmonizing the curriculum, vet all materials and participating organizations, developing and disseminating comprehensive guidelines, monitoring for impartiality and professionalism to ensure the trainings are accurate and politically neutral.
ECK can also utilize the various opportunities it interacts with voters to pass on these important messages for example: during registration, when they check the register, when the change voting station among other golden opportunities. Their offices countrywide should be manned by trained officers who can pass these voter and civic education messages and respond to the questions of the voters through out, whether it is election year or not.
The international community other than endlessly grumbling about corruption and bad governance can take this golden opportunity to support education of Kenyans to be able to solve their own governance problems. They have the funds and the expertise in developing training materials and also offer logistic support to training implementers. Bad mouthing Kenya for all sorts of governance and leadership shortcomings without taking positive action supporting civic and voter will is of no use to anybody.
Teaching a society how to fish is more important than supplying them with a thousand years supply of fish. All friends of democracy in Kenya should come together and launch a massive voter and civic education campaign in readiness for the 2007 election which will be the second ever genuine election in Kenya’s history. Kenya’s leadership and governance problems will only be solved by Kenyans themselves if they are empowered to participate in democratic activities and make right political decisions through education and awareness campaigns.
-The writer is a Business Consultant Based in Nairobi
Other Insights


As the reforms debate gains momentum, it is important to look critically at the proposed reforms, try to unveil the thinking behind it and the rationale for the positions being taken by both sides of the political divide. Let us take each proposal separately and critically evaluate it.
First, the Head of State is to be barred from appointing Opposition MPs into Government without negotiating with their parties. The reform proponents claim that this is meant to stop a sitting president from killing opposition parties by poaching MPs into the government. But does the president force any opposition MP to take up the position? My view is that the proposal is being pushed by opposition chiefs because they have no grip on their MPs who switch loyalty according to where there bread is being buttered. This is because politics in Kenya is for personal gain not for the party or serving the country. Moreover Kenyan political parties are devoid of ideologies, based on personalities and tribal affiliations instead and therefore one party is “as good as the other”.
The proposal is therefore meant to protect the tribal party chiefs against decamping of MPs who can very easily be lured by promises of ministerial positions, huge bribes and plum positions for their friends, kin and cronies. With MPs effectively caged, party chiefs can now use their voting strength in parliament to intimidate and blackmail the government in power by for example voting out important government motions and programmes. This has the potential of crippling government operations if political battles get out of control. LDP/ODM learnt a bitter lesson when Kibaki trashed the MOU, formed the government of national unity and after the referendum when the president refused to negotiate with them as a party and sacked the LDP ministers. This is a loophole LDP/ODM-Kenya is trying to seal.
The second proposal is to take away the power of the president to dissolve, summon or prorogue parliament. Taken in the historical perspective, this is also a lesson learnt from Moi’s political gymnastics which Kibaki did not hesitate to copy after the defeat of his government in the last year’s referendum. Consider this; the opposition has always considered passing a vote of no confidence on the government even during Moi days. Last year, LDP was so charged and excited after the referendum triumph that talk was in the air for a vote of no confidence in Kibaki’s administration.
It is also a card LDP could have also played after Kibaki trashed the MOU. In both instances, the stumbling block has been the fact that in case of such a vote, the president together with the entire parliament would have to seek a fresh mandate. Most MPs fear that they would not survive such an election and this is the reason this frontier of political battle in never explored in parliament. This proposal is therefore meant to separate the fate of the government with that of MPs since the president cannot call for a snap election or scuttle an impending vote of no confidence by proroguing or suspending the National Assembly.
If this proposal passes, we are likely to see votes of no confidence motions being often used as another frontier of political battles in parliament. This strengthens the politicians who can kick out a government and a president elected by wananchi without reference to them and also without endangering their political careers.
Thirdly, there is the proposal that a presidential candidate must garner more than 50 per cent of all votes cast and 25 per cent in at least five provinces to win an election. This is a clever game of numbers being played on wananchi. The opposition learnt a lesson when Moi won the two multiparty elections on minority votes. This position was also strengthened by the Narc experiment where pooling together of tribal voting blocks commanded by the various tribal chiefs carried the day in 2002. The November 2005 referendum and results of opinion polls that have been conducted also have a bearing in this provision.
Let us then bring these 4 lessons together and see how they are related to this proposal: The Narc experiment taught us that the tribal chiefs coming together can easily combine their tribal voting blocks into an electoral victory. The opinion polls have given us the indicative size of the voting block under the command of each tribal chief. The referendum further taught us the power of combining tribal blocks and also reinforces another lesson learnt during the 2002 elections, that a sitting government can be handed an electoral defeat.
Let us now play the mathematical game: During November referendum, what is now Narc-Kenya garnered 43 per cent while what is ODM-Kenya took 57 per cent. This shows that on a one on one, ODM commands a larger vote factory. Additionally, an opinion poll conducted in July this year by Steadman Group allocates the following voting slices for each candidate as shown below; President Kibaki, 30 per cent, Kalonzo Musyoka, 27 per cent , Raila Odinga, 14 per cent, Uhuru Kenyatta, 13 per cent, William Ruto, 5 percent, Musalia Mudavadi, 2 per cent. These are very interesting working figures for the quantitative minded. Simple calculation therefore reveals that if the proposal is adopted none of the candidates would garner the requisite 50% plus votes in 2007. This will leads to a run-off that will just be a recreation of the November 2005 referendum.
The ODM line –up will combine their voting blocks which roughly add up to 60 percent guaranteeing them an electoral victory. Even if the 50 percent clause does not go through the current line-up of ODM-Kenya can very easily block the Narc-Kenya candidate from garnering the current mandatory 25 percent in five provinces. That is the reason ODM-Kenya has lined up a provincial representative for each of the eight provinces.
Fourthly, the number of ministers should not be less than 15 and not more than 25. This limits the number of ministerial positions that the president has to entice opposition MPs with. This takes care of another important opposition chief’s nightmare. Poaching of their members.
Fifth, funding of political parties by public funds is proposed. Politicians say that this will eliminate corruption in the party funding. But it is the politicians who run political parties and is therefore an unwitting acceptance that our political parties are rotten to the core with corruption. My view is that these funds are just meant to add the public money in the control of the politicians in addition to the Community Development Fund, Community Bursary Fund, Constituency Roads Fund and Constituency Aids Control Fund.
Sixth, dual citizenship is proposed. This is good, but currently it is meant to placate the Kenyans in diaspora. Recently, we have seen the opposition chiefs make whirlwind trips in Europe and America talking to Kenyans in abroad. This is one bait being used to buy their support. Seventh, vetting of key statutory and public office holders by Parliament is proposed. It is said this will ensure people are appointed on merit, ability and integrity and not on political agenda. Again this is a ploy to limit the positions a president has of “buying” opposition politicians. The other problem that I see with this proposal is the danger of politicising sensitive security positions like Director General of the National Security Intelligence Service, the Commissioner of Police and the Director of CID.
Eighth, the electoral Commission of Kenya should have professional commissioners who should be vetted by Parliament. This is noble and should be supported by all. But I am sure each side of the political divide is salivating to get a upper hand in the composition of ECK.
Ninth, entrenchment of the constitution review process into the current Constitution is a good proposal and should be supported by all. Relevant sections should be amended so that a new constitution can take over from the current one.
From the foregoing, it comes out clearly that the proposed minimum constitutional reforms have nothing to do with the common mwananchi but a political power game that is cleverly being played by the political class. The opposition is trying to seal loopholes that give the ruling elite an upper hand in the power game and also smooth their path to power come 2007. On the other hand, the ruling elite are resisting any efforts of trimming their powers as well as efforts to unseat them in the forth coming election. This is the rationale of the positions being taken by both ODM-Kenya and “the ruling party”– Narc Kenya


By Karithi Amos Ngeera
According to figures from the Economic Survey 2006, released by Planning and National Development minister, Henry Obwocha, the economy grew by 5.8 per cent last year compared to 4.9 the previous year. This growth surpassed the government prediction of 5 percent and despite a devastating drought.
Let us decipher these figures and see what they mean to the common citizen who should be the target of any economic growth or decline.
Tourism and hotel sector grew by 13.3 per cent, earning Sh48.8 billion compared to Sh38.2 billion last year. But how are these billions finally shared out? The tourist hotels, lodges, tour operators and booking agencies are mainly owned by foreigners and a few wealthy Kenyans. While the people employed in this sector ideally should share in this success, unfortunately the sector is notorious for worker exploitation, remunerating them poorly and subjecting them to deplorable working conditions. Therefore the majority of Kenyans have nothing to gain from growth in this sector.
Transport and communication sector grew by 8.3 percent mainly boosted by increased mobile telephony with the total subscriber base reaching 5.6 million. Who benefits from mobile phone technology? While it is true that the cost of mobile phone handsets has significantly reduced, the cost of airtime remains prohibitive to many Kenyans. This locks out the poor from the benefits of this revolutionary technology.
It also beats logic why using mobile phones should be more expensive that landlines. Mobile technology is modern, cheap and efficient as opposed to the ancient landline technology requiring laborious laying down of posts and cables occasioning very high maintenance costs. It is always expected that a newer technology will be more efficient and cheaper than the old. But the converse is the case in Kenya.
It is also a pity that railway transport recorded the poorest performance in the transport sector. This ironically is the sector should be most beneficial to the poorer members of our society because it offers cheap means of transport and handles large volumes.
The agricultural sector grew at 6.7 per cent growth compared to 1.4 per cent in 2004. This however did not result much from any well thought out policy or investment by the government but luckily due to favourable weather conditions that boosted the cereals, horticulture and dairy sub-sectors.
But let us see how this growth in the agricultural sector cascades down to the common citizen.
The horticultural sub-sector grew despite the strong shilling, earning Sh38.8 billion compared to Sh36 billion last year. But horticulture farming continues to be dominated by big foreign companies and a few wealthy Kenyans who are able to afford the huge capital outlay required and are able to venture into the export market. The few small-scale farmers who venture into this sector are contracted as outgrowers by the big exporters who dictate the prices ensuring that they pocket more that 80 percent of the revenue earned form the export market with the farmer taking a paltry 20 percent or less.
A big disappointment is the performance of coffee sub-sector which at one time led in foreign exchange earnings in the mid 80. Production has continued to plummet every year by 6.6 percent. It is worth noting that this is the sector whose growth would result into wider benefit for many Kenyan rural farmers. Instead it declined.
This therefore means that even in agriculture, which is the lifeblood of our economy, growth did not occur in sectors that benefit the poor majority.
Manufacturing sector grew by five per cent compared to 4.5 per cent in 2004. The government attributes this to a stable macro economic environment and a mainly low interest rate regime that enabled most manufacturers to access credit. This growth defied high costs of energy, low priced finished goods from Asia and a strong shilling resulting in lower earnings of exported manufactured goods. This is one area the government needs to be commended for concerted efforts in partnership with the private sector. But did the jobs created in this sector make a positive impact on the unemployment levels in the country?
Building and construction also recorded growth with cement consumption growing by 10.9 per cent from 1.4 million tonnes in 2004 to 1.5 million tonnes. Does this growth reach the poor? With the poor wages paid to construction workers and the sector being dominated by a few wealthy contractors. The answer is clear–no poor Kenyan benefited from growth in this sector.
Commercial banks lending to the private sector increased by 18.5 per cent to Sh294.9 billion in December 2005. Most of the poor particularly in the rural areas and urban slums have no access to banking services and credit. Growth in Kenyan commercial banks is therefore irrelevant to them.
The government however should be commended on some areas; increase in expenditure on social sectors such as health, education and security is showing positive impact. The Ministry of Education got Sh88.3 billion shillings up from Sh80.2 billion the previous year. This has increased enrolment in primary schools from 7.4 million pupils in 2004 to 7.6 million last year.
This is a good sign that many children from poor families are accessing basic education which is important in shaping their future.
The depressing news in the education sector, however, is that the number of teachers dropped from 178,194 in 2004 to 171,033 in 2005. This will definitely impact on the quality of education offered in public schools where most Kenyans can afford to educate their children. This does not do very well in closing the income disparity as education remains a very powerful avenue of getting many children out of the poverty bracket.
The total enrolment in universities declined to 89,979 students in 2005 from 91.541 students in 2004. This is an irony considering that university education has been opened up with introduction of “day scholars” or what is popularly called the parallel and distant learning programmes.
Increased spending in health sector has also seen the number of health facilities increase and immunisation coverage improved from 59 per cent in 2004 to 65 percent. This is good for the country because a healthy nation is a productive nation.
Increase in government spending on security, community policing and reforms in the police have also seen the number of crime cases reported to go down by 10.1 per cent. Unfortunately crime against women, including rape, defilement and assault rose by 1.4 per cent. This is why the Sex Offences bill need to be supported by all. These figures clearly show that sex offences are not much of a security issue but a societal attitude problem and no amount of spending in security is going to stem them.
On employment, the informal sector generated 414,000 jobs while the formal sector managed a meagre 44,000. This growth has not resulted from any government policy or resources provision to the sector. With so many highly qualified and experienced Kenyans being pushed from the formal sector through redundancies, this sector has only one direction to go, upwards!
This sends a very strong message to our policymakers that more public resources should be redirected into this sector because it has bigger potential for creating jobs than the formal sector which is controlled by multinationals and the wealthy section of our society.
The above figures are largely encouraging that our economy is expanding. But the picture underneath the figures is not so rosy. While 20 percent of the Kenyans are marching forward into the 21st century, the majority of the country is slipping back to poverty, isolation, desolation, ill health and hopelessness.
The policymakers must in addition to the growing economy take radical steps to redirect this growth into development for its people.
As a country, we might continue living in a fool’s paradise, celebrating empty growth figures that are irrelevant to 80 percent of the population. These disenchanted members of the society are a time bomb that can explode with the slightest opportunity presenting itself.

Copyright © 2006 Times News Services, All rights reserved.


As the reforms debate gains momentum, it is important to look critically at the proposed reforms, try to unveil the thinking behind it and the rationale for the positions being taken by both sides of the political divide. Let us take each proposal separately and critically evaluate it.
First, the Head of State is to be barred from appointing Opposition MPs into Government without negotiating with their parties. The reform proponents claim that this is meant to stop a sitting president from killing opposition parties by poaching MPs into the government. But does the president force any opposition MP to take up the position? My view is that the proposal is being pushed by opposition chiefs because they have no grip on their MPs who switch loyalty according to where there bread is being buttered. This is because politics in Kenya is for personal gain not for the party or serving the country. Moreover Kenyan political parties are devoid of ideologies, based on personalities and tribal affiliations instead and therefore one party is “as good as the other”.
The proposal is therefore meant to protect the tribal party chiefs against decamping of MPs who can very easily be lured by promises of ministerial positions, huge bribes and plum positions for their friends, kin and cronies. With MPs effectively caged, party chiefs can now use their voting strength in parliament to intimidate and blackmail the government in power by for example voting out important government motions and programmes. This has the potential of crippling government operations if political battles get out of control. LDP/ODM learnt a bitter lesson when Kibaki trashed the MOU, formed the government of national unity and after the referendum when the president refused to negotiate with them as a party and sacked the LDP ministers. This is a loophole LDP/ODM-Kenya is trying to seal.
The second proposal is to take away the power of the president to dissolve, summon or prorogue parliament. Taken in the historical perspective, this is also a lesson learnt from Moi’s political gymnastics which Kibaki did not hesitate to copy after the defeat of his government in the last year’s referendum. Consider this; the opposition has always considered passing a vote of no confidence on the government even during Moi days. Last year, LDP was so charged and excited after the referendum triumph that talk was in the air for a vote of no confidence in Kibaki’s administration.
It is also a card LDP could have also played after Kibaki trashed the MOU. In both instances, the stumbling block has been the fact that in case of such a vote, the president together with the entire parliament would have to seek a fresh mandate. Most MPs fear that they would not survive such an election and this is the reason this frontier of political battle in never explored in parliament. This proposal is therefore meant to separate the fate of the government with that of MPs since the president cannot call for a snap election or scuttle an impending vote of no confidence by proroguing or suspending the National Assembly.
If this proposal passes, we are likely to see votes of no confidence motions being often used as another frontier of political battles in parliament. This strengthens the politicians who can kick out a government and a president elected by wananchi without reference to them and also without endangering their political careers.
Thirdly, there is the proposal that a presidential candidate must garner more than 50 per cent of all votes cast and 25 per cent in at least five provinces to win an election. This is a clever game of numbers being played on wananchi. The opposition learnt a lesson when Moi won the two multiparty elections on minority votes. This position was also strengthened by the Narc experiment where pooling together of tribal voting blocks commanded by the various tribal chiefs carried the day in 2002. The November 2005 referendum and results of opinion polls that have been conducted also have a bearing in this provision.
Let us then bring these 4 lessons together and see how they are related to this proposal: The Narc experiment taught us that the tribal chiefs coming together can easily combine their tribal voting blocks into an electoral victory. The opinion polls have given us the indicative size of the voting block under the command of each tribal chief. The referendum further taught us the power of combining tribal blocks and also reinforces another lesson learnt during the 2002 elections, that a sitting government can be handed an electoral defeat.
Let us now play the mathematical game: During November referendum, what is now Narc-Kenya garnered 43 per cent while what is ODM-Kenya took 57 per cent. This shows that on a one on one, ODM commands a larger vote factory. Additionally, an opinion poll conducted in July this year by Steadman Group allocates the following voting slices for each candidate as shown below; President Kibaki, 30 per cent, Kalonzo Musyoka, 27 per cent , Raila Odinga, 14 per cent, Uhuru Kenyatta, 13 per cent, William Ruto, 5 percent, Musalia Mudavadi, 2 per cent. These are very interesting working figures for the quantitative minded. Simple calculation therefore reveals that if the proposal is adopted none of the candidates would garner the requisite 50% plus votes in 2007. This will leads to a run-off that will just be a recreation of the November 2005 referendum.
The ODM line –up will combine their voting blocks which roughly add up to 60 percent guaranteeing them an electoral victory. Even if the 50 percent clause does not go through the current line-up of ODM-Kenya can very easily block the Narc-Kenya candidate from garnering the current mandatory 25 percent in five provinces. That is the reason ODM-Kenya has lined up a provincial representative for each of the eight provinces.
Fourthly, the number of ministers should not be less than 15 and not more than 25. This limits the number of ministerial positions that the president has to entice opposition MPs with. This takes care of another important opposition chief’s nightmare. Poaching of their members.
Fifth, funding of political parties by public funds is proposed. Politicians say that this will eliminate corruption in the party funding. But it is the politicians who run political parties and is therefore an unwitting acceptance that our political parties are rotten to the core with corruption. My view is that these funds are just meant to add the public money in the control of the politicians in addition to the Community Development Fund, Community Bursary Fund, Constituency Roads Fund and Constituency Aids Control Fund.
Sixth, dual citizenship is proposed. This is good, but currently it is meant to placate the Kenyans in diaspora. Recently, we have seen the opposition chiefs make whirlwind trips in Europe and America talking to Kenyans in abroad. This is one bait being used to buy their support. Seventh, vetting of key statutory and public office holders by Parliament is proposed. It is said this will ensure people are appointed on merit, ability and integrity and not on political agenda. Again this is a ploy to limit the positions a president has of “buying” opposition politicians. The other problem that I see with this proposal is the danger of politicising sensitive security positions like Director General of the National Security Intelligence Service, the Commissioner of Police and the Director of CID.
Eighth, the electoral Commission of Kenya should have professional commissioners who should be vetted by Parliament. This is noble and should be supported by all. But I am sure each side of the political divide is salivating to get a upper hand in the composition of ECK.
Ninth, entrenchment of the constitution review process into the current Constitution is a good proposal and should be supported by all. Relevant sections should be amended so that a new constitution can take over from the current one.
From the foregoing, it comes out clearly that the proposed minimum constitutional reforms have nothing to do with the common mwananchi but a political power game that is cleverly being played by the political class. The opposition is trying to seal loopholes that give the ruling elite an upper hand in the power game and also smooth their path to power come 2007. On the other hand, the ruling elite are resisting any efforts of trimming their powers as well as efforts to unseat them in the forth coming election. This is the rationale of the positions being taken by both ODM-Kenya and “the ruling party”– Narc Kenya


The media has detailed possible systematic looting of Kenya-Re by top management. They even have documents with glaring evidence which have also been forwarded to all relevant anti-corruption authorities. These documents catalogue how two top officers have been stealing money and property through an intricate web of deals, some traversing national boundaries.
That three banks have been colluding with Kenya-Re management to abet these fraudulent transactions shows how low Kenya’s financial sector has sunk. This calls for stricter laws to govern this sector and also eagle-eyed supervision from authorities. With all these financial scandals going on however, one would doubt the willingness or even the capacity of Central bank to instil discipline this sector.
It is claimed that the anti-banking fraud police have been handling a fraudulent transaction by the same institutions top management involving Sh10 million since 2003. Does this police squad have the capacity to handle such cases?
Watertight evidence in form of documents have been forwarded to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC). Kenya-Re own staff have anonymously written to the Kacc, showing how company property has been fraudulently transferred to members of the management board and to date no action or statement has been issued. Why should sale of property belonging to such an important parastatal be done secretly? Can KACC justify the hefty pay paid to them in face of such poor performance?
The institute of Certified Accountants of Kenya has not yet bothered to find out what Ernest and Young; a leading audit firm that handles Kenya-Re accounts have been doing pretending to audit Kenya Re books year in, year out. One would easily conclude that Kenya’s professional associations are just as corrupt and therefore cannot discipline their members who abet or willingly collude with their clients to carry out corrupt deals.
It is, however, heartening to realize that there are some Kenyans ready to sacrifice and stand for the truth in form of the middle-level Kenya-Re managers put up a spirited fight against these transactions insisting on all seeing transaction documents before the deal’s consummation could be assumed.
That this looting has been going on for the last three years of Narc rule, a Government which was voted in on a zero tolerance to corruption platform clearly indicates that the anti-corruption battle has been lost. It should not be lost to Kenyans that this company will be offered to the public as an IPO early next year. Karithi A Ngeera, Nairobi.
Other Letters


Kenya boasts of running a capitalistic economy. Such a market encourages a reasonable level of competition enabling consumers to get the best quality goods and services at the least price possible.
This is possible because businesses are forced to adopt acceptable and ethical business practices as well as take care of the environment in which they operate.
The oil industry in Kenya runs contrary to market competition ideals, displaying instead cartel behaviour. A cartel can be simply defined as a conspiracy among formally independent firms to distort the operations of the market.
This collusion enables them to exploit the market unfairly to achieve supernormal profits at the expense of consumers and even the environment.
Typically, cartels are usually brokered in secret, verbally and are often informal. The agreements could be on prices, output levels, discounts, credit terms, which customers to supply, and who should win a contract, commonly called bid rigging.
Due to their clandestine nature, it is difficult to understand how they operate because they also keep changing their mondus operandi.
HOWEVER, CARTELS exhibit characteristics that can help identify them and take appropriate action against their operations. Commenting on cartels, the first great political economist, Adam Smith, said, "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."
In Kenya's oil industry, one would be forgiven for believing that there is only one company retailing petroleum products. The prices are almost uniform and always capped at the highest possible level.
Most intriguing is the movement of price in response to global crude oil price changes.
The industry also shows complete disregard of customers and the authorities. No matter how much the consumers complain, no action is taken nor any response given. In a competitive market, that would be business suicide.
This industry even ignores the Ministers of Energy and Finance and recently only weakly responded to a presidential appeal. This reeks of cartel behaviour per excellence.
The kind of advertising and promotional activities we see in other sectors are non-existent. This points to a clear intention to limit competition and rivalry among the operators.
The emergence of joint ventures among close competitors, competitors combining their operations and selling their operations among themselves should send warning signals.
Lack of competition thus makes oil in Kenya overpriced. Being an essential source of energy for industry, the cost of producing goods and services skyrockets, making our products uncompetitive both locally and in international markets.
This also fuels inflation because increased cost of energy increases cost of production across the board. It slows down economic growth as the purchasing power of Kenyan consumers is reduced.
The Kenyan consumer suffers twice: directly when they fill their cars, buy cooking gas or kerosene; and secondly, through the increased cost of other products as a result of increased cost of production.
The consumers lose billions of shillings every year from this overcharge from monopolistic prices.
The oil cartels harm consumers and the economy by distorting the ordinary processes of innovation and product development.
THIS CONDUCT in turn damages Kenyan business by increasing input prices, adversely affecting domestic and international competitiveness of goods and services, and ultimately resulting in reduced employment opportunities for Kenyans.
Beyond Kenyan borders, oil producing countries worldwide suffer reduced sales due to reduced consumption by price sensitive consumers, especially in the developing world, as a result of overpricing of oil. It is worth noting that most of the oil multinationals do not come from oil producing countries and the welfare of producers is not their concern.
Regardless of the untold damage the oil cartels have continued to inflict on the Kenyan economy, they have continued to thrive because, the Kenyan economy is largely oil powered, making it an essential commodity without much of a substitute currently.
Secondly, the Kenyan legal and policy framework to guide business conduct is weak. The laws are archaic and cannot meet the challenges of modern times.
The institutions supposed to referee the conduct of business are also weak. The Monopolies Commission has no capacity to punish cartels. That is why even threats by the Ministers of Energy and Finance have been reduced to impotent grumbling, because they lack both capacity and policy support.
So, what can Kenya do to streamline the oil industry and dismantle cartels?
Cartels thrive under corrupt regimes. Fighting corruption in Kenya should be stepped up so that all businesses operate overboard and follow acceptable business practices.
The policies and regulations guiding business conduct in Kenya should be overhauled. The relevant ministries, instead of issuing empty threats, should take Bills to parliament and craft tough anti-competition laws. We should borrow a leaf from other countries that have been able to defeat this vice, especially the US and the EU.
Karithi A. Ngeera is a business consultant in Nairobi.
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Thursday, April 26, 2007


Youth for kibaki 2007
ODM-K must stop playing games with the electorateBy Valentine Kiburi Ngeera
ODM-KENYA is beginning to talk to itself but pretending to be talking to its supporters.The monologue is evident in every move the party has made lately. A debate is simmering that the party picks a flagbearer through consensus. Aspirants are discussing it in hotel boardrooms. Alongside the consensus conspiracy is talk that the party needs to pick the one best suited to easily beat President Kibaki in election later in the year. Somebody is trying to make the next elections look like 2002’s.Then, the pressing issue was to beat Kanu. Kenyans were willing to vote for anything, as long as it looked likely to beat Kanu.But this year, the situation is different and whoever thinks Kenyans are simply looking for Kibaki’s replacement is off the mark. The Kibaki regime is miles ahead of the Kanu Government Kenyans wanted to replace in 2002.The party and the aspirant seeking to run against Kibaki must not think the urgent thing is to replace him.Avoid attracting outright failures.ODM-Kenya; in particular, needs to understand that the nation is looking for who can take it a step farther from where Kibaki has put it. Kenyans are not simply looking to replace a regime and an individual as was the case in 2002. One of the tragedies of the presidency in Africa is that it has largely attracted low fliers and, sometimes, outright failures.The desire to leave a mark on the world never bothers African presidents. ODM-Kenya, like Narc, promised to change that. Narc did change the aspirations of the nation. President Kibaki’s regime may not be a starling success, but it is a distinct improvement on the previous regime.ODM-Kenya was to make Kenyans aim even higher. But the party cannot do this if its immediate task is simply to find one who can beat Kibaki.That is the stuff of nations, leaders and parties without ambition. It is the kind of leadership that will start reasoning that at least we are better off than Somalia. In all progressive nations, elections are a lot more than replacing the incumbent. People look for leaders who can mobilise and motivate the nation. Elections should be about long-term plans.Party leaders getting smart with the publicThe reason J F Kennedy’s legacy refuses to die in America is the perception of his role. Kennedy came to the presidency with the ambition of taking man to the moon in a decade. He never lived to see it happen, but he set in motion a process that came to pass.After talking big for close to a year, ODM-Kenya is now talking to itself and in low tones. Last month, out of the blues, news filtered into newsrooms that the party was heading to London on a peace-building mission.Presidential hopeful and Mwingi North MP Mr Kalonzo Musyoka broke the news and praised the initiative at a rally in western Kenya. Party leader Mr Mutula Kilonzo confirmed he knew about it, but he would not attend. Another presidential hopeful, Eldoret North MP Mr William Ruto, knew about it and prepared to attend. Mr Uhuru Kenyatta never talked about it. Mr Raila Odinga, who was out of the country, said he would attend. But just before take off, some leaders called a press conference and disowned the trip. After the London debacle, which has never been fully explained, a section of the ODM-Kenya leadership has been demanding that presidential aspirants hold joint rallies.Alongside that, is a quiet push for the party to disown the nomination process, sit in a hotel and pick the candidate. These are signs of a party and leaders beginning to get smart with the public.It is the kind of smartness that betrays a party running away from something. Proponents of joint rallies say the strategy will save the party from disintegration. The push for consensus is also being touted as a way to keep the party together.Attempt to confuse the publicFor close to a year, ODM-K has gone round the country promising to conduct US-style election primaries that would be a pacesetter in Africa. In the US, no party imagines joint rallies. None fears that an aspirant could defect due to internal campaigns.The idea of a Council of Elders to pick a candidate for the US Democratic Party or the GOP cannot appear even in the dreams of party members.In the US primaries, aspirants run separate campaigns until the voters make the final decision. Either ODM-K is admitting that its plans were too ambitious or it is running away from something. There is more to being President than winning the highest number of votes. Individual campaigns and subsequent nominations give party supporters a glimpse of the organisational capacity of the campaigner. Putting a rally together requires good management of resources, timing and believers in your cause. An individual who is able to do this successfully makes a statement about his or her abilities. The one who hides behind the party is equally making a statement. Campaigns provide an opportunity for the public to see the candidate’s capacity to rally support. That support should see the candidate win or lose the nominations. Above all, campaigns bring out the ambitions of the aspirants and the extent to which the ambitions resonate with the nation.What is going on in ODM-Kenya now, where the party wants its aspirants to hang together, amounts to an attempt to confuse the public about where the buck stops now and where it will stop if the party takes power. Clouding issues is a strategy ODM-Kenya has pulled on Kenyans.You only need to look at the London trip to notice that the party escaped by spreading blame without anyone taking responsibility. The buck never stopped anywhere and the public may never know the truth about London.The aspirants shut themselves at Nairobi Club, exchanged bitter words and came out claiming they had resolved the issues.The writer is a senior reporter with The StandardILA HAVITANGAMANI
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Kimunya’s US visit an eye-opener for DiasporaBy VALENTINE MUGAMBIThose who attended the recent Kenya Business and Investment Forum in Washington, DC, would agree that the organisers, including the Kenyan embassy, did a superb job. The speakers gave useful information on business in Kenya.The theme, Kenya is Open for Business, was apt. Four personalities were impressive — Finance minister Mr Amos Kimunya, Information and Communication Permanent Secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo, Economic Secretary Dr Kamau Thugge and Kenya Investment Authority Managing Director Ms Susan Kikwai. Kikwai lived in DC Baltimore until a few years ago when she went back home.Thugge is also a former resident and brilliant economist (former IMF senior economist). Others who made presentations were Ms Laila Macharia, representing a real estate company in Nairobi, Mr Peter Wairegi, a successful Kenyan businessman in Ohio, and Mr Edwin Nyambeche, Postapay’s representative in the US.Postapay went global a few weeks ago and Kenyans need not send money home through foreing-owned services. It has an office in Baltimore.Ndemo gave an illustration of the good things to come in the information technology sector. In a Powerpoint presentation, he explained how, in the next few months, Kenya will benefit from a new communications infrastructure, a fibre-optic cable being laid between Fujaira in the United Arab Emirates and Mombasa.He disclosed that the terrestrial broadband infrastructure is almost complete. The cable to Malaba is complete and ready for business. Kenyans will use the service in the next eight months. Prior to the meeting, Ndemo had been at Google headquarters in California, where he was promised that the company would build a hub in Nairobi, once the cable is complete. The PS also announced that 50,000 University of Nairobi students would be the first to use Google Apps — an online software. This will be extended to 150,000 students in other universities in the country. He also talked about the explosion of the wireless industry in Kenya.He recalled that in the 1990s, the joke was that Kenya would not have more than 600,000 mobile phone subscribers. Kimunya said one of the requirements for obtaining a wireless licence was for phone companies to sign up at least 600,000 subscribers. Today, the subscriber base is 10 million.What impressed most about Kimunya was his eloquence in weaving the economic figures to defend the Government’s record. Nobody expected him to denigrate the Government, of course, but his presentation was a work of art.However, he scared the audience when he said all the gains that have been made could go up in smoke in the "very unlikely event of a regime change" in the elections later this year.The minister gave figures that showed how the economy is growing and who was responsible for it. Kimunya cited several parastatals that the Government has revived and how farmers’ returns had improved.He also went at length to explain the merits of the Kenya Vision 2030, whose annual economic growth target is 10 per cent for the next 23 years. Hopefully, it should turn Kenya into a middle-income nation — an African tiger.But the function had moments of drama, especially during question time. Most questions were either the run-of-the-mill ‘how-do-you-plan-to-solve-world-hunger’ variety or subject-specific, sometimes laced with a little emotion.Some assured the minister that Kenyans abroad were patriotic, and that some of the noisemakers who malign their country were good-for-nothing losers. The minister and some in the audience were in agreement with such sentiments.But other questions were against the grain and went unanswered. A member of the audience derided the minister for painting a rosy picture, yet corruption was, in his words, eating the very fabric of society.He cited the example of telecommunications licensing, pointing out that when he and a group of Kenyans sought a mobile license, Government officials cheated them out of the process. He claimed that the licence was instead awarded to a ‘briefcase’ entity which, to date, has not been able to offer any mobile services.The minister simply ignored the issue, concentrating instead on non-specific corruption-related questions. He took a swipe at those criticising the Government on corruption and asked: "What is corruption? Must we parade bodies just to show that we are fighting corruption?"The minister did not also discuss the relationship between the figures that he had just presented and the stark reality that 50 per cent of Kenyans live below the poverty line.Kimunya glossed over the slum problem and mentioned something about a slum-upgrading project. On dual-citizenship, the minister stated that the issue took the same route the Wako Draft took. He did not elaborate.Ms Mkawasi Mcharo, the chair of the Kenya Community Abroad, said Kenyans abroad are active participants in Kenya’s affairs and should have the right to vote.Kenyans should attend such functions especially when Government officials and other leaders visit the United States. The Kenyan embassy is also a good source of information on the opportunities at home.The next major event in Washington will be held next week when Finance Ministers from East African countries meet the region’s citizens.The writer is a Kenyan in Washington DC who works for the Norwegian Council for AfricaILA NA FILA HAVITANGAMANI
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Government has made significant stridesBy Martha KaruaWhen we took office, the economy had ground to a halt and there was a general breakdown of law and order.Today, we are on course to hit six per cent economic growth. In 2005, the economy grew at 5.8 per cent. By the end of the year, we will have achieved a 200 per cent rise in revenue collection, collecting nearly Sh460 billion in taxes. We are in a position now to finance 95 per cent of our own budget, something that is unique among developing nations.How many developing countries can boast of such a feat, an almost self-financed budget? The question then is: What are we doing with the extra money? We are building infrastructure and improving livelihoods. We now have water in places where people never believed they would be able to access it. We are on course to meet and surpass the Millennium Development Goals’ targets for delivering portable water.Improved quality lifeIn the health sector, 1,000 new dispensaries have been built. On roads, 60 tarmac and concrete ones are under construction and some have been completed. There are plans to construct bypass roads in Nairobi.We are putting Kenyans’ money to good use. The rise in tax collection has led to improvement in the quality of people’s lives. To place this in context, I will give my constituency, Gichugu, in Kirinyaga as an example. We received only Sh6 million from the Constituency Development Fund in 2003/2004, and with it built a few small bridges. In 2004/2005 financial year, the constituency got Sh23 million, then Sh33 million the following year and Sh43 million this year.Gichugu now has 44 primary schools and an extra 21 secondary schools (37 up from 16). The constituency received Sh3 million from the Education ministry for bursaries, allowing students who would have fallen by the wayside to continue with education as day scholars.Have we fought corruption? Yes, we have. But fighting corruption is a process and not an event. It is not something we can eradicate overnight. We are making good progress and doing all in our power to stigmatise it through public education campaigns, and charging perpetrators of corruption.Corruption is fighting backThere are more than 190 cases pending, brought by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission. Investigations into high profile cases such as Anglo Leasing are ongoing. Anglo-Leasing involved 18 cases, but only three contracts were signed during the Kibaki administration. The rest relate to the period between 1997 and December, 2002.Our greatest challenge is the slow pace of investigations and that the speed with which the wheels of justice are turning. We are looking for ways of improving the record. Corruption is fighting back and attempting to capture the State once again. We must not let this happen. We must invest in good leadership that will continue to take us forward. There is a difference today in Kenya, because there is a difference in leadership.Those who would have you believe that Kenya is not on the right track will talk about tribalism and corruption. Let me remind you that this is the most representative Government since independence. Be sceptical about those shouting loudest about corruption because they do so for political ends. It is a dishonest campaign of political propaganda.If corruption was at the levels they would have you believe, then why are there huge improvements in growth, infrastructure development and revenue collection? I am not saying we have eradicated corruption, but we have reduced it.We are winning the war and the gains are obvious for all to see. I implore the Kenyan community overseas to act as ambassadors for the nation.The writer is the Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister. She spoke to Kenyans in the UKLILA NA FILA HAVITANGAMANI
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From: jacko mafia Sent: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 6:00 PM To: Linus Gitahi Cc: Wangethi Mwangi ; Joseph Odindo; Helen Mbugua;Editorial@nation.co.ke; newsdesk@nationa.co.ke;news-citizenTz@nation.co.ke; NTV News; NyeriEditorial;eldoretstaff; Msa Editorial; Kisumu Advertising;Nakuru AdvertisingSubject: Re: The lid is off Dear Mr Gitahi. This is a letter from the staff of the EditorialDepartment and it ' s a follow up to another letter wesent you in December highlighting teething problemsfacing our department. We are pleased to inform you that we are pleased withthe steps you have taken so far to address theproblems in the Editorial Department and in the largerNMG. From our own observation of the manner you havegone about your business, we now know we have a CEOwho has the interest of the NMG and its staff atheart.In our December letter, we have told you that we wouldwait until end of January to see if there were goingto be any meaningful changes and reforms carried outby your administration. We have reliably been informedthat a radical surgery is in the offing and yourdreams are to see the right staff on the NMG bus. Weare committed to support all your resolve to offloadthe excess and unproductive passengers from the NMGbus.We, too, don ' t want joy riders and blood suckers wholive on other people ' s sweat. We would prefer leanerand a productive staff who are rewarded according totheir performance.However, we are disturbed that, whereas you mean wellfor the Editorial Department, you have taken the wrongpath in picking the team of managers to select thestaff to be offloaded from the NMG bus. We understandthe editorial team comprise of the Editorial Director,Mr Wangethi Mwangi , the Group Managing Editor, MrJoseph Odindo, and the Group HR Director, Ms HellenMbugua.The three managers, and to a large extent Mr Mwangiand Mr Odindo, are the source of the problemsbedeviling the Editorial Department and we gave youthe reasons in our December letter. Since weunderstand the exercise for identifying the staff tobe offloaded, transferred and promoted is complete, wedecided to bring our heads together and decide the wayforward. Journalists from Nairobi and representativesfrom all the bureaus held a meeting at a venue anddate we will not disclose and came up with a resolveto write to you again and communicate what wasdeliberated. Mr Wangethi and Mr Odindo should be nowhere near anymeeting where any reforms and changes in the EditorialDept are being carried out. The two should have beenthe first casualty of your Administration ' s reforms.Just like President Kibaki put his foot in the mouthby retaining Kanu ' s civil servants intact, webelieve you have squandered a good opportunity toclean up the mess in the Editorial Dept by appointingthe Mr Mwangi and Mr Odindo to spearhead the reforms. We demand that the exercise of laying off unproductivestaff must be transparent and target thenon-performers. Mr Mwangi and Mr Odindo may use theexercise to get rid of good staffers they don ' tlike. In our December letter, we listed the joy-ridersand the multiple posts which were purposely created byMr Mwangi and Mr Odindo to reward their friends andgirlfriends. We demand that the posts be abolished andall the busy body bosses be the first to be shown thedoor. Mr Mwangi and Mr Odindo filled the newsroom withtheir girlfriends and friends poached from other mediahouses, yet they are unproductive and can hardly writeany literate story. These too must be offloaded fromthe NMG bus. We want to know why none of the women whohave extended sexual favours to both Mr Mwangi and MrOdindo have been spared the axe. Adhiambo Odera, whowas employed directly to the position of the Editorafter a sexual encounter in Malindi with Mr Mwangi isone of those women who have been spared yet her workis good mastery of illiteracy. She can ' t write oredit any story. Editing of Buzz magazine is done bycorrespondents. But she can ' t be touched becauseboth Mr Mwangi and Mr Odindo share her as lovers andthey fear she can expose them. It ' s the same casefor many other women. Mr Mwangi and Mr Odindo, yourwives will be hearing from us very soon. We had informed you and listed sections which areheaded by managers who are non-university graduates.Examples are the News Desk, where we have foureditors, and only one is a graduate. The Form Sixgraduates were put there deliberately by Mr Wangethifor his own selfish reasons so that they can dance tohis tune. We can ' t have reporters who haveuniversity degrees and masters reporting to Form Sixmanagers! They too must leave or be demoted and giventheir rightful places like the copy-taking desk. The House that his Highness the Aga Khan built hasbeen into a brothel by top managers. Mr Wangethi, MrOdindo and Mr Nabutolla have one thing in common –they take the golden cup for their ability ofquenching their sexual lust using NMG femaleemployees. The prime factor and criteria forpromotions and hiring of female reporters and editorshas been their sexual performance. This is somethingthe Aga Khan and the entire world have never known.This is something we are going to expose and bring itto the attention of the Aga Khan and the world. In ourDecember letter, we listed just a fraction of thefemale staff who have been rewarded with plum jobs andpromotions after satisfying the sexual lust of MrMwangi and Mr Odindo. How then can the same sexperverts be the ones spearheading the laying off ofunwanted staff? We hope you had time to make your ownindependent investigations to verify the insight wegave you on the string of women who have been promotedor hired by the two managers based on their sexualperformance. Finally, we give both Mr Wangethi and Mr Odindo up toend of February to resign from NMG or we smoke themout. We have laid a water-tight strategy to do so. Wehave various options to do so if you don ' t forcethem to resign or their conscience doesn ' t drivethem to doing so.Among the strategies we have are exposing the shame ofNMG being a brothel in all parts of Kenya, Nairobibeing the main focus, presenting the spouses of MrWangethi and Mr Odindo and the women they have beensleeping with with evidence, and writing to the AgaKhan and informing how his House has been turned intoa brothel by the managers he has employed to managehis affairs. We have the contacts of all their spousesand they will hear from us very soon. We will alsocirculate pamphlets on the streets detailing whosleeps with who in NMG. Other strategies remain oursecret and it ' s up to you to decide if you want thevibrant company you inherited from Mr Kiboro to sinkunder your watch. Things will start rolling very fastfrom March 1 if our demands are not met. But we willsupport you if we are satisfied with the reforms andthe departure of Mr Mwangi and Mr Odindo.Ms Hellen Mbugua, we also have a dose for you. Yourhusband will also be hearing from us on your sexescapades with KBC MD. We have water-tight dossier onyou.We can ' t sit back and allow immorality to continuethriving in NMG. NMG will explode and the rot whichhas been perpetuated by top managers will soon be inpublic domain. We can ' t be exposing the likes ofBishop Margaret Wanjiru and Sam uel Gichuru yet wehave managers and other staff who are worse rotten. Weare putting on notice Mr Mwangi , Mr Odindo and theother managers who have found it difficult to keeptheir zips tightly shut that sex scandals and the sextree of who sleeps with who in Editorial and otherdepartments will be public knowledge soon. They shouldstart preparing their spouses psychologically. Watchthis space!NMG prides itself as a successful company, a marketleader and a mirror of the society. We must set theexample by actions and deeds. Managers can ' t preachwater and drink wine. The hour of reckoning has come.The lid has been blown off internally and soon theworld will be reading about the brothel that is NationCentre.We wish you luck! Cc Wangethi Mwangi Joseph Odindo Hellen Mbugua All NMG staffContinuation below;Dear Mr Linus Gitahi,CEO Nation Media GroupNairobi, Kenya On January 23, 2007, the staff of the Editorial Deptwrote an open letter to you detailing the rot and sexscandals that have rocked the house His Highness theAga Khan built. We are sure the Nation Media Groupleadership has never revealed to the Aga Khan the truth that the house he built from holy funds has beenturned into a brothel by the very same senior managershe has entrusted with running his affairs. All is notwell at the leading Media House in East and CentralAfrican region but you have shown you are leastbothered. The information we have is that when you, Mr WangethiMwangi and the other top brass visited the Aga Khan inParis between February 5 and 7, you only presented thegood side about the NMG leadership and deliberatelyomitted the rot that has been choking the majority ofinnocent and clean staff. That is understandable. TheNMG leadership has a reputation of covering eachothers backs, even when a few apples in their midstare stinking. The Aga Khan and the entire world willsoon be hearing from us. Instead of addressing the problems we raised in theStaff Climate Survey forms that were submitted to theHR Dept in October and the views we gave during a teambuilding retreat in Loitokitok,a couple of years back,you have decided to organize yet another retreat. Whatwe said in Loitokitok, in other forums and in thevarious letters we have sent you has never beenaddressed and nothing has ever changed. This shows thecontempt you hold the Editorial Dept, which is thepillar of this media giant. We have various options atour disposal to see who surrenders first. No one willbe spared, even yourself if we find anything of yourdark past. Nothing can bribe us. We will continuerocking the boat even after we come back from theretreat. We will go to the retreat you have organized as aritual to satisfy your own curiosity, not because wehave any faith in the retreat or your leadership. Yousquandered a very good opportunity to clean up themess when you sanctioned the retrenchment of smallfish who had done nothing wrong and left the networksof corruption and immorality intact. In our earlier letter to you, we demanded theimmediate resignation of the Group Editorial Director,Mr Wangethi Mwangi, and the Group Managing Editor, MrJoseph Odindo, for bringing to shame the journalismprofession by being involved in a string of sexscandals and being solely responsible for the mess inthe Editorial Department by trashing the laid downpolicies on employment and promotions to quench theirsexual appetite and reward their friends and cronies. It's a well known fact even outside NMG that Mr Mwangiand Mr Odindo have been using helpless and innocentfemale staff as sex pawns to achieve personal andnarrow objectives. Although a majority of the femalestaff are upright, but there is ample evidence thatsome have been given jobs, promotions and salaryincrements based on their sexual performance. NMGrules on promotions and employment have largely beenignored by the two senior editors and they have beenrewarding their friends and women they have taken tobed based on sexual performance. This culture has beengoing on for years and we expected you would bring itto an abrupt end and clean up the mess. Sadly, youtotally disappointed us and killed our spirits. However, as you categorically stated during a staffmeeting with the entire editorial on February 1, 2007,you are least bothered by rot in Nation Centre and itnot your desire to put things right. In your address,you expressed confidence in the rotten managers and wecan only conclude that you endorsed their crookedways. You simply gave them a clean bill of health. In our letter, we given both Mr Mwangi and Mr Odindoup to end of February to search their conscience andresign. However, there are strong indications thattheir conscience doesn't prick them. We will prick itfor them. You have seen nothing yet. The chickens arecoming home to roost from March 1. Tighten your nervesand wait. We will systematically slay them one afterthe other with hard facts and the absolute truth. Aswe said, the choice is purely theirs. They choose totake an early bus home and save themselves and theirfamilies stinging humiliation or cling to theiroffices and walk around town smelling like raw sewage. You must have your own reasons why you want to defendthe rotten managers. And we have our own reasons forexposing them. Contrary to the suggestions that weremade by yourself and other speakers during theFebruary 1 meeting that those who have been exposingthe rot in NMG have the desire to rock the boat, theclaims are further from the truth. There is a cleardistinction between a company and an individual'spersonal conduct and affairs. It nonsensical to insinuate or imagine that the NMGboat would sink just because the sex predators havebeen exposed. It's purely a personal decision forthose managers who have been walking around NationCentre with their zips open. The managers and theirgirlfriends must carry their own crosses and not dragthe rest of us in their immoral ways. NMG's great namewill never sink because of the people who have turnedNation Centre into a brothel. We were shocked that instead of taking the platform onFebruary 1 to congratulate the brave men and women whowants good morals to be restored at Nation Centre, youdecided to demonise them. Your hard stance and the newlifeline you gave the sex predators will be yourundoing. You have given us new resolve to go the extramile of bringing to shame the managers who can't keeptheir zips shut. In the same way Nation has beentaking pride in splashing stories on Mr John Githongoexposing the mega corruption in Kibaki's backyard andthe horrifying sex life of the flamboyant BishopWanjiru, NMG managers who have a dark history shouldstart dreading March 1. What moral authority does NMGhas to expose the evils in society if it can't cleanup its own mess or remove a log in its own eyes? Our research and analysis team has completed itsinvestigation and they have pieced together adetailed, accurate and comprehensive dossier on thesex scandals at NMG. The dossier will be madeavailable in the internet, the streets of Nairobi andother major towns, to the wives and children of thesex pests, the diplomatic community, religiousorganizations and all NMG staff. The dossier contains shocking revelations on the sexlives of senior NMG managers. We have photographicevidence, confession statements and affidavits fromsome of the women who have been lured to bed by themanagers and others from the men who had to breakrelationships with their spouses or fiancés afteruncovering secret love affairs involving NMG managers,court documents on some of the managers who have foundthemselves in court to defend themselves on damagingsex scandals, emails and mobile telephone computerprint-outs. We promise you it will be a must read.Continue watching this space. At the moment, our research team has pieced together adetailed report on the sex lives of four seniormanagers and it will start rolling off our mill fromMarch 1. We will give you the snap shots of what toexpect. Ms Helen MbuguaGroup Human Resources DirectorFind out: • How a love affair blossomed between MrsMbugua and Mr David Waweru before he moved from NationCentre to KBC. • How Mrs Mbugua sneaks her lover to hermatrimonial home in Kilimani when her husband is outof the country and the children are away. • Why the love affair wont end and why MrMbugua needs to worry. • Do we have photos of the two love-birds? Findout from us from March 1. It's a secret romance thatwill leave you on edge. This information will land in your house in Kilimani. Mr Cyrille NabutolaGroup Marketing Director Find out: • Why Mr Nabutola is referred to as the Bull ofNation Centre• How many sales executives he has had affairswith and how many are proud mothers of his children.• His romantic adventures in the office• Why NMG leadership can't dare touch himdespite being aware of his love escapades. This information will land in your house in Runda. Mr Wangethi MwangiGroup Editorial DirectorFind out: • His love affairs with Irene Karanja (hisformer secretary), Veronica Kinyanjui (former FeaturesEditor), Linda Gacheru (a junior staff who rosethrough the ranks rapidly and ended up in a plum jobthe HR Dept), Wahu (formerly of Advertising Dept),Njeri Mwangi (formerly a reporter of Editorial Dept),Adhiambo Odera (Buzz Editor) and Claire Gatheru (areporter who was axed in the recent retrenchment).• Why Irene's husband who was a lawyercommitted suicide in an Eldoret hotel.• How the police treated the death and shockingletters that our research team has uncovered that ledto Irene's husband committing suicide.• How did he discover the secret love affairbetween Mr Mwangi and how he desperately tried to stopthe affair in vain.• What Irene's husband said before he decidedto kill himself. Would he be alive today were it notfor Mr Mwangi?• How a love affair blossomed between Mr Mwangiand Linda. Why did her fiancé abruptly cancel hiswedding with Linda? Why did Mr Mwangi jump out throughthe window of her Buru Buru House at night? What roledid Mr Mwangi play in the break up? • How Mr Mwangi continued with the affair withLinda even after she found a new love, who ended upmarrying her. • Why Linda's husband had jitters on thewedding day. Why was he jittery? Why did Mr Mwangitactfully swap his green Mercedes Benz with KenOluoch's on the eve of the wedding for transportingthe bride?• Why Mr Mwangi spirited Linda out of NMG andsecured her a job elsewhere. Why did Linda abruptlychange jobs?• What Njeri Mwangi said in her affidavit on MrMwangi's sexual advancement?• What happened to the sexual harassment caseNjeri Mwangi filed in the High Court against MrMwangi.• Why has Njeri Mwangi returned to Kenya fromthe US . What's the new weapon she has against MrMwangi. Why did Mr Mwangi go into a hysterical panicwhen he learnt Ms Mwangi was back in the country.• The full details of the love triangleinvolving Mr Mwangi, Mr Odindo Adhiambo Odera. Who arethe other lovers of Ms Odera in the newsroom? Do thetwo top editors share her with junior reporters behindtheir backs? • Why does Ms Odera prefer to use two thick CDswhen she sleeps with her bosses?• Why did Ms Odera opt to seduce bosses? Howdid Macharia Gaitho escape Ms Odera's trap? Did MutumaMathiu fina lly fall into the trap?• Why Mr Mwangi and Mr Odindo influenced theemployment of Ms Odera knowing too well that she hadbeen to a back-street college and she can't write oredit a story. Why did she rise from a merecorrespondent straight to an editor without being areporter after a romantic expedition with Mr Mwangi inMalindi? DESPITE WANGETHI'S DENIALS, WE HAVE COPIES OF THERECEIPTS HE AND ADHIAMBO USED AND THE TEXT MESSAGESSHE SENT HER FRIENDS INFORMING THEM THAT SHE WAS INMALINDI BEING SCREWED BY NONE OTHER THAN WANGETHI. Andwhat about the digital camera she used to walk aroundthe newsroom boasting she had been given by Wangethiduring the Malindi outing. • Why were Mr Mwangi and Mr Odindo in adesperate situation when Mr Kiboro put his foot downthat Ms Odera was not qualified for the job? What didthey do to prevail upon Mr Kiboro to change his mind? Read much more about the Wangethi Mwangi you havenever known from March 1. This information will landin your house in Kileleshwa. Mr Joseph OdindoGroup Managing EditorFind out: • His secret love affairs with Adhiambo Odera,Ms Lucy Oriang (whom he has been instrumental ingiving her plum jobs when a new list of promotions isout), Ms Rhoda Orengo, and a string of other women.• The secret affair between him and MildredNgesa and why he influenced her switch from theStandard to NMG. This information will land in your house in Lavington. FOR THE RECORDED TAPES OF ADHIAMBO'S LOVE AFFAIRS WITHWANGETHI, ODINDO, HOW SHE TRAPPED ANY NEW MANAGINGEDITORS OF THE SUNDAY NATION, MAKE A DATE WITH US FROMMARCH 1. GET A FIRSTHAND RECORDED CONVERSATIONSBETWEEN WANGETHI AND THE OTHER NMG MEN WHO HAVE EVERSCREWED HER. IT'S THE HOTTEST SEX SCANDAL YOU WILLNEVER WANT TO MISS. GITHONGO'S TAPES ARE CHILD'S PLAY. The mess and stench in the Editorial Dept is acreation of Mr Mwangi and Mr Odindo. Are these thepeople His Highness the Aga Khan has entrusted withthe affairs of his great company? Are these the rolemodels our own children? Are they fit to be the mirrorof our society? What moral authority do they have topoint out ills in the society? NMG prides itself as the leading media house in Eastand Central African region but its reputation is nowat stake because of a small group of the ruling elite.We promise you that the dossier will shake the NMGright in its core and the world will for the firsttime know the dark and hallowing secrets that NationCentre conceals. It's the responsibility of themajority of the staff who mean well for the future ofNMG to preserve the integrity of this great companyand the journalism profession. Before the Feb 28 deadline approached, we would liketo urge you, Mr Gitahi, to convene another meeting ofthe entire editorial staff, like the one which washeld on 3rd floor on February 1, 2007, so that MrMwangi, Mr Odindo, Mr Nabutola, Mrs Mbugua and a fewother sex pests we are currently digging their darkhistory can take the Holy Bible and swear they are notguilty of the issues we have raised above. During theFebruary 1 meeting, the entire floor burst intolaughter when Mr Mwangi broke down when he wasnarrating how his wife had confronted him with aCitizen newspaper which carried a story on his sexlife. Nobody sympathized with him because everybody on3rd floor knows the truth. Redundant postsMr Mwangi and Mr Odindo are responsible for creatingso many posts which duplicate roles to reward theirfriends and girlfriends. In our previous letters, wehave listed the posts that need to be merged orscrapped but this has fallen on deaf ears. We have awhole battalion of people walking around the newsroomcarrying titles of editors and they have nothing toshow for it. A big chunk of the budget for theEditorial Dept goes to paying heft salaries for theidle editors. It's immoral to pay one idle editorSh400,000 each month and pay a reporter who toils likeslave Sh60,000. All the top editors and managers earnsalaries of between Sh500,000 and Sh1million plus eachmonth. For instance, where is the wisdom of having the postsof Editorial Director and Group Managing Editor? Andwhat about the numerous posts of Managing Editors? Andyet still, the countless posts of editors? No wonderMr Mwangi has a lot of time to lift skirts, play golfduring morning working hours and entertain his friendsin beer sessions in his office in the afternoon. AndMr Odindo is often falling asleep in his office in theafternoon due to boredom. And this happens whenmajority of hardworking journalists are toiling sohard to generate the hefty salaries and perks for thebored and idle editors. It was also shocking to hearyou and the other managers making a mockery about ourdegrees. Where else doe we have Form Six editors inthe newsroom apart from NMG? How can correspondentsand reporters who are university graduates, some withfirst degrees and others with Masters degrees,continue reporting to Form Six drop outs? It's thepolicy of NMG that reporters and correspondents shouldhave a minimum qualification of a university degree.Why is the rule an exception to some of the editors? Mr Gitahi, you have no option but to respect ouracademic qualifications. Form Six and Form Foureditors must leave our newsroom if you want peace. UnionIt was ridiculous to hear managers on February 1denying they had not played any role in killing thejournalists union. There is no doubt that NMGleadership played a big role in the death of the unionand this started when new journalists were denied achance to join KUJ. This weakened the union sincemembers who leave are not replaced. Salaries for ourmembers have not been reviewed for the past threeyears. Yet, the management staff gets heft pay riseevery January. We demand the immediate review of oursalaries. Flimsy excuses wont wash. CorrespondentsAbout 75 percent of the content published in all NMGpublications is the work of correspondents, casualworkers who are paid peanuts for the sweat of theirlabour. Though NMG prides itself as the champion ofhuman rights and publishes stories on how othercompanies oppress their employees, the oppositehappens in NMG. Correspondents are today's modernslaves. Although they toil so hard, they end up beingpaid peanuts and most of them live in abject povertyand die in misery. This lot is paid by the length ofthe stories they write. But the mode of calculation istop secret by the NMG leadership to ensure a hugechunk is taken away from the poor correspondents totake care of the hefty salaries of their bosses. Thatis one way the Editorial bosses manage to live withinthe department's budget. We demand better pay. Mostcorrespondents remain unemployed during their entirecareers. It’s a miracle for the correspondents,especially those in the rural areas to earn Sh5,000 amonth. Isn’t it immoral for editors and a group ofwell connected staff to go smiling all bank and thepoor and voiceless correspondents can't have a decentliving We demand a complete overhaul of the entire EditorialDept. Idle bosses and all those tainted withcorruption must be sent packing. We need a transparentcriteria of employment, promotions and sharing oftraining opportunities. There will never be any peacein Nation Centre until these demands are met. We aretired ऑफ़ selling our blood for peanuts. Moto umewaka. Let's have a date with each one ऑफ़ you on March 1. The whole truth about the rot and decay in Nation Centre will be on display for the whole world to read and see. LILA NA FILA HAVITANGAMANI
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President Kibaki presided over the development decadeSince the government published a report showing the various poverty levels in the country, there have been various attempts by politicians and scribes to blame the Sessional paper No 10 of 1965 on African Socialism and its Application to Planning in Kenya as the source of these disparities. Others have sought to blame the allocation of government resources by the current NARC government in a blatant attempt to distort history.The ideological riftWhat needs to be clarified is that Kenya attained independence at the height of the ideological rift between the right and the left along the East/West détente. Kenya’s political leadership was divided along these two sides with the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga representing the leadership of the socialist ideology while Tom Mboya represented the group in support of the capitalist ideology.As scholars of Kenya’s political history would bear testimony, it was following the acrimony that this debate generated that the late President Kenyatta asked officials at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development to prepare a definitive document outlining Kenya's development ideology with a view to ending the heated ideological debate. It is against this background that the Sessional Paper No. 10 on African Socialism and its Application to Planning in Kenya was developed.What was clear in the mind of Kibaki, then a fresh graduate from the London School of Economics, was the need to borrow on internationally proven economic and social models that would facilitate wealth creation, shared growth and the intensified fight against poverty.It is also important to correct the erroneous impression by some that there was a struggle between Kibaki and late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga over the system of economic management that Kenya would adopt. The struggle was between Mboya and Jaramogi Odinga and began soon after the arrest of the Kapenguria six and the ban of political associations in Central Kenya.With the arrest of the six, it was Jaramogi Odinga and Tom Mboya who emerged as key leaders of the nationalist movement. As members of the same community, a struggle emerged between them over political supremacy in Nyanza.The development decadeSecondly, it is a distortion of history to suggest that President Kibaki was part of a system that widened income disparities. When the history of Kenya is accurately traced, what emerges clearly is that Kibaki as Finance Minister presided over what was dubbed by the United Nations as the Development Decade. During this period, the Kenyan economy was growing at 6% annually. It was Kibaki who steered the economy even through the trying moments of the oil crises of 1973.The relatively good performance of the economy in this period was reflected in relatively decent living standards for a majority of Kenyans, lower levels of poverty, high enrolments in schools, reliable infrastructure, increased investments and the competitive position of the country in the region.It was also during this period that Kenya made giant strides in human resource development. The Sessional Paper had quite correctly identified the lack of skilled personnel as a major problem to be urgently addressed. The rationale was premised on the indisputable fact that human resources are the ultimate basis of empowering the people and enabling wealth creation. Accordingly, the government invested heavily in education.Indeed, throughout the 1960's and early 1970's, the Kenya government spent more on education as a percentage of national income, than any other government in the world. This resulted in the spectacular increases in school enrolment throughout the country. We all acknowledge that there is no better way of giving people equal opportunities than providing education.Value adding agricultural industriesIt was also during Kibaki’s tenure at the treasury that deliberate efforts were made to make capital, at low interest rates, available to Kenyans through the Land Bank, the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC). It was during this period that firms like KICOMI in Kisumu, Pan Paper Millers in Webuye, RIVATEX in Eldoret, KTM in Thika, Kenya Cashew Nuts and Ramisi Sugar in Coast province, Kenya Meat Commission in Athi River and Kenya Co-operative Creameries with factories in very part of the country, flourished.These and a host of other institutions were built on the premise that value addition was the key to poverty alleviation for our majority population that is reliant on agriculture. Every Kenyan knows what happened to these vibrant institutions that provided thousands of jobs to our youth, as politics of expediency became the norm in the country.Economic stagnationThe truth of the matter is that the problems of increased wealth inequalities and poverty begun to worsen in the period that the United Nations termed as the lost decade in the 1980s and 1990s. This period, which continued up to 2002, was a period of stagnation and decline. During this period, economic performance was dismal with growth rates averaging less than 2 per cent.Poverty and unemployment levels increased to unprecedented levels. It is estimated that by the year 2000, about 57% of Kenyans could not afford basic necessities while open unemployment was as high as 40%. Enrolment in primary schools declined steadily to less than 85%. Infrastructural installations deteriorated to a state of near collapse. Investment levels declined, as did the competitiveness of the country in the region. As Kenyans will recall, this was the period when the politics of patronage took center stage and only those regions of the country that were considered loyal qualified for development.Finally the claim that not much is being done to address inequalities in wealth distribution is equally misleading. It is important to clarify that the NARC government under President Kibaki has taken serious efforts to address poverty, redress regional inequalities and ensure the equitable distribution of resources. Perhaps the most remarkable step in this regard is the introduction of Constituency Development Funds.Under this new initiative, the government commits 2.5 per cent of total government revenue to financing development in all the 210 constituencies in the country. It is important to note that poor constituencies receive more money for development that richer ones.Only three quarters of the funds are shared equally between the constituencies while the rest is allocated to poor constituencies. As Kenyans can find out on the CDF website, constituencies in Central Kenya which were ranked among the most wealthy received about Kshs.5 million less than those ranked poorer.As a further measure of ensuring equality, the government of President Kibaki introduced the policy of free primary education. This policy has opened school doors to millions of children who would otherwise have missed out on education due to poverty. Primary school enrolment has increased tremendously in the last two years. Gross Enrolment rate for primary schools now average 99 percent.It merits mention that in addition to this, the Government is targeting resources to disadvantaged areas and increasing bursary schemes for poor children in secondary schools. In total, the Government is spending over 28 percent of its resources in education. The recently released Poverty report clearly spelt out that education levels were a key determinant in wealth creation.Furthermore, the government has embarked on a policy of affirmative action in which it is seeking to speed up development in marginalized areas. In Northern Kenya, for example, President Kibaki personally launched a ten billion shilling five- year development plan for the region. This plan outlined the specific measures that would be taken to integrate this part of the country in the mainstream national economy.In appreciation that the agricultural sector employs the majority of Kenyans and therefore presents the best avenue of improving wealth distribution and fighting poverty, the government of President Kibaki has implemented extensive agricultural reforms than any other regime in our history. The reforms have resulted in improved performance of the sector. Farmers are now not only paid on time but earn more from their produce.Indeed, the earnings of dairy and livestock, sugar, tea, and coffee farmers across the country have steadily and consistently improved in the last two and half years. It is therefore clear that the Government of President Kibaki is committed to poverty eradication and the equal distribution of available resources.The proposed constitution clearly stipulates the powers that will be bestowed upon the devolved districts and the role of the Equalisation Fund.Kenyans can expect more years of progress when President Kibaki steers Kenya into greater heights of prosperity under a New Constitution that promises a new Dawn for all Kenyans.LILI NA FILA HAVITANGAMANI

President Kibaki presided over the development decadeSince the government published a report showing the various poverty levels in the country, there have been various attempts by politicians and scribes to blame the Sessional paper No 10 of 1965 on African Socialism and its Application to Planning in Kenya as the source of these disparities. Others have sought to blame the allocation of government resources by the current NARC government in a blatant attempt to distort history.The ideological riftWhat needs to be clarified is that Kenya attained independence at the height of the ideological rift between the right and the left along the East/West détente. Kenya’s political leadership was divided along these two sides with the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga representing the leadership of the socialist ideology while Tom Mboya represented the group in support of the capitalist ideology.As scholars of Kenya’s political history would bear testimony, it was following the acrimony that this debate generated that the late President Kenyatta asked officials at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development to prepare a definitive document outlining Kenya's development ideology with a view to ending the heated ideological debate. It is against this background that the Sessional Paper No. 10 on African Socialism and its Application to Planning in Kenya was developed.What was clear in the mind of Kibaki, then a fresh graduate from the London School of Economics, was the need to borrow on internationally proven economic and social models that would facilitate wealth creation, shared growth and the intensified fight against poverty.It is also important to correct the erroneous impression by some that there was a struggle between Kibaki and late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga over the system of economic management that Kenya would adopt. The struggle was between Mboya and Jaramogi Odinga and began soon after the arrest of the Kapenguria six and the ban of political associations in Central Kenya.With the arrest of the six, it was Jaramogi Odinga and Tom Mboya who emerged as key leaders of the nationalist movement. As members of the same community, a struggle emerged between them over political supremacy in Nyanza.The development decadeSecondly, it is a distortion of history to suggest that President Kibaki was part of a system that widened income disparities. When the history of Kenya is accurately traced, what emerges clearly is that Kibaki as Finance Minister presided over what was dubbed by the United Nations as the Development Decade. During this period, the Kenyan economy was growing at 6% annually. It was Kibaki who steered the economy even through the trying moments of the oil crises of 1973.The relatively good performance of the economy in this period was reflected in relatively decent living standards for a majority of Kenyans, lower levels of poverty, high enrolments in schools, reliable infrastructure, increased investments and the competitive position of the country in the region.It was also during this period that Kenya made giant strides in human resource development. The Sessional Paper had quite correctly identified the lack of skilled personnel as a major problem to be urgently addressed. The rationale was premised on the indisputable fact that human resources are the ultimate basis of empowering the people and enabling wealth creation. Accordingly, the government invested heavily in education.Indeed, throughout the 1960's and early 1970's, the Kenya government spent more on education as a percentage of national income, than any other government in the world. This resulted in the spectacular increases in school enrolment throughout the country. We all acknowledge that there is no better way of giving people equal opportunities than providing education.Value adding agricultural industriesIt was also during Kibaki’s tenure at the treasury that deliberate efforts were made to make capital, at low interest rates, available to Kenyans through the Land Bank, the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC). It was during this period that firms like KICOMI in Kisumu, Pan Paper Millers in Webuye, RIVATEX in Eldoret, KTM in Thika, Kenya Cashew Nuts and Ramisi Sugar in Coast province, Kenya Meat Commission in Athi River and Kenya Co-operative Creameries with factories in very part of the country, flourished.These and a host of other institutions were built on the premise that value addition was the key to poverty alleviation for our majority population that is reliant on agriculture. Every Kenyan knows what happened to these vibrant institutions that provided thousands of jobs to our youth, as politics of expediency became the norm in the country.Economic stagnationThe truth of the matter is that the problems of increased wealth inequalities and poverty begun to worsen in the period that the United Nations termed as the lost decade in the 1980s and 1990s. This period, which continued up to 2002, was a period of stagnation and decline. During this period, economic performance was dismal with growth rates averaging less than 2 per cent.Poverty and unemployment levels increased to unprecedented levels. It is estimated that by the year 2000, about 57% of Kenyans could not afford basic necessities while open unemployment was as high as 40%. Enrolment in primary schools declined steadily to less than 85%. Infrastructural installations deteriorated to a state of near collapse. Investment levels declined, as did the competitiveness of the country in the region. As Kenyans will recall, this was the period when the politics of patronage took center stage and only those regions of the country that were considered loyal qualified for development.Finally the claim that not much is being done to address inequalities in wealth distribution is equally misleading. It is important to clarify that the NARC government under President Kibaki has taken serious efforts to address poverty, redress regional inequalities and ensure the equitable distribution of resources. Perhaps the most remarkable step in this regard is the introduction of Constituency Development Funds.Under this new initiative, the government commits 2.5 per cent of total government revenue to financing development in all the 210 constituencies in the country. It is important to note that poor constituencies receive more money for development that richer ones.Only three quarters of the funds are shared equally between the constituencies while the rest is allocated to poor constituencies. As Kenyans can find out on the CDF website, constituencies in Central Kenya which were ranked among the most wealthy received about Kshs.5 million less than those ranked poorer.As a further measure of ensuring equality, the government of President Kibaki introduced the policy of free primary education. This policy has opened school doors to millions of children who would otherwise have missed out on education due to poverty. Primary school enrolment has increased tremendously in the last two years. Gross Enrolment rate for primary schools now average 99 percent.It merits mention that in addition to this, the Government is targeting resources to disadvantaged areas and increasing bursary schemes for poor children in secondary schools. In total, the Government is spending over 28 percent of its resources in education. The recently released Poverty report clearly spelt out that education levels were a key determinant in wealth creation.Furthermore, the government has embarked on a policy of affirmative action in which it is seeking to speed up development in marginalized areas. In Northern Kenya, for example, President Kibaki personally launched a ten billion shilling five- year development plan for the region. This plan outlined the specific measures that would be taken to integrate this part of the country in the mainstream national economy.In appreciation that the agricultural sector employs the majority of Kenyans and therefore presents the best avenue of improving wealth distribution and fighting poverty, the government of President Kibaki has implemented extensive agricultural reforms than any other regime in our history. The reforms have resulted in improved performance of the sector. Farmers are now not only paid on time but earn more from their produce.Indeed, the earnings of dairy and livestock, sugar, tea, and coffee farmers across the country have steadily and consistently improved in the last two and half years. It is therefore clear that the Government of President Kibaki is committed to poverty eradication and the equal distribution of available resources.The proposed constitution clearly stipulates the powers that will be bestowed upon the devolved districts and the role of the Equalisation Fund.Kenyans can expect more years of progress when President Kibaki steers Kenya into greater heights of prosperity under a New Constitution that promises a new Dawn for all Kenyans.LILI NA FILA HAVITANGAMANI

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Economic growth rates and projectionsBrief IntroductionThe Kenya’s economy has reflected a marked growth making its way up the recovery path since 2002. Under the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (ERSWEC), various reforms have been effected and these have had an overall positive effect on the economy.In the year 2004 the Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) computed under the basis of the new System of National Accounts (1993 SNA) expanded by 4.3% compared to 2.8% in 2003. There are particular sectors that recorded immense growth.The Manufacturing Industry hit 4.1%, Construction industry, 3.5%, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repairs, 9.5%, Tourism and Hotels, 15.1% and Transport and Communication at 9.7%. The total export earnings rose significantly in 2004 as a result of improved international commodity prices. The export volume recorded a 17.3% growth while the total value of imports grew by 29.6%.Economic indicators for the first quarter of 2005 showed that the economy performed slightly better compared to the same period in 2004. Against this backdrop and the continual reforms, the economy is expected to grow at between 4.5-5.0% in 2005.Website: http://www.cbs.go.keE-mail: director@cbs.go.keAlso download the National Economic Recovery for Wealth and Employment CreationLILI NA FILA HAVITANGAMANI
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Growth in East Asia What We Can and What We Cannot InferThe spectacular growth of many economies in East Asia over the past 30 years has amazed the economics profession and has evoked a torrent of books and articles attempting to explain the phenomenon. Articles on why the most successful economies of the region Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China have grown, to say the least, robustly invariably refer to the phenomenon as "miraculous." When practitioners of the Dismal Science have recourse to a Higher Power, the reader knows that he is in trouble. Confusion is compounded when he discovers that ideological debate has multiplied even further the analyses of this phenomenon. Rather than swelling the torrent of interpretations, this paper sets for itself the modest agenda of reviewing the weightiest arguments in the literature that attempt to identify the reasons for the extraordinary economic growth in East Asia and trying to decide which arguments make sense. The exercise has value because finding the right explanation might suggest how to replicate this success elsewhere and, as a bonus, might also satisfy the reader's urge to solve an engaging intellectual puzzle. It is best if we start with the facts.Since 1960 Asia, the largest and most populous of the continents, has become richer faster than any other region of the world. Of course, this growth has not occurred at the same pace all over the continent. The western part of Asia grew during this period at about the same rate as the rest of the world, but, as a whole, the eastern half (ten countries: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan Province of China, and Thailand) turned in a superior performance, although variations in achievement can be observed here too. The worst performer was the Philippines, which grew at about 2 percent a year (in per capita terms), about equal to the average of non-Asian countries. China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand did better, achieving growth rates of 3-5 percent. This impressive achievement is, however, still modest compared with the phenomenal growth of Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China, known as the "Four Tigers" because of their powerful and intimidating economic performance. The Tigers have had annual growth rates of output per person well in excess of 6 percent. These growth rates, sustained over a 30-year period, are simply amazing. While the average resident of a non-Asian country in 1990 was 72 percent richer than his parents were in 1960, the corresponding figure for the average Korean is no less than 638 percent.This paper begins by looking at the long-running debate over the nature of growth. Is growth the result for the most part of an accumulation of manpower and machinery, or is it the result of employing the latest technology? The paper then looks at the growth record of the four countries from three other angles: the influence of government intervention, the extent to which investments and exports can be considered the main engines of growth, and the significance for sustained growth of the economic conditions prevailing at the very beginning of the countries' period of extended growth. The paper concludes with a few minimalist observations on possible areas for future study.The Nature of Growth:Factor Accumulation or Technological ProgressEveryone agrees that the economies of East Asia, and particularly the Four Tigers, have grown spectacularly over the past generation, but nobody seems to agree on why. The debate over why they have grown so well in the past raises difficult questions about regional growth in the future and about the aspiration of countries elsewhere to replicate the East Asian success. The arguments at the center of the debate are based on theoretical notions of growth accounting.This accounting method deals with three elements that contribute to the production of goods and services: labor, capital, and technology. Labor and capital, known collectively as the "factors of production," refer in this context to the workforce and to the capital goods (buildings, machines, vehicles) that the workforce uses in manufacturing some product or providing some service. Technology refers to all the methods employed by labor and capital to produce a good and depends on the development or acquisition of practical skills to get the job done more quickly and more efficiently. No one denies that all three elements must be present to some degree if an economy is to grow. What is subject to debate is the contribution of the factors of production relative to that of technology. Some believe that increased use of labor and capital explain all growth; others are persuaded that the answer to growth lies in the use of more efficient technology.Within the growth accounting framework it is possible to describe mathematically, using a simple equation, the contributions of these three elements to the overall production of an economy. By dividing the equation by the number of people in the workforce, one can derive a dynamic equation that shows how output per person increases over time. Such an equation mathematically describes the contribution to higher output of the growth rate of labor participation, of capital employed per person, and of technology (the latter also known as the growth of "total factor productivity"). If applied empirically to specific economies this equation can give a good idea of what proportion of increased output is a result of higher labor participation and better use of capital and what proportion is the result of technological progress.The traditional formulation of this equation suggests that a significant and sustained rate of technological progress is the only possible way, over the long run, for an economy to achieve a sustained rate of growth in output per person. Why? The labor participation rate can be increased for a while and will increase production, but obviously it cannot increase indefinitely (everybody will ultimately be employed). And more growth in capital than in labor ultimately leads to diminishing returns to capital, resulting in a fall in the growth of output even if capital continues to grow at a constant rate. Therefore, in order to achieve permanent growth, an economy must continuously improve its technology. This kind of growth is called "intensive growth." In contrast to intensive growth, increasing output by increasing inputs of labor and capital (extensive growth) can work only for a limited period, but it cannot last too long.In a famous study, Solow (1956) conducted a growth accounting exercise such as the one described above. He found that accumulation of capital and an increase in the labor participation rate had a relatively minor effect, while technological progress accounted for most of the growth in output per person. Further studies have reconfirmed the validity of these conclusions. Accordingly, the standard view about the success of the East Asian countries emphasizes the role of technology in their high growth rates and focuses on the fast technological catch-up in these economies. In this view, these economies have succeeded because they learned to use technology faster and more efficiently than their competitors did.A Contrarian ViewThe collapse of the Soviet Union in about 1990, after years of apparent economic success, caught most people by surprise. This collapse seemed to lend credence to the "extensive growth hypothesis," which argues that the Soviet Union, after many decades of extensive growth, ran into the inevitable diminishing returns effect, just as predicted in the growth accounting framework, because it had relied for its economic growth on a massive accumulation of capital and labor and had been slow to accept innovative technology. These developments in the economy of the Soviet Union served to raise concerns about other economies, including some East Asian countries, that have invested primarily in labor and capital rather than in technology over the past few decades. Krugman (1994) makes the comparison specific:The newly industrializing countries of Asia, like the Soviet Union of the 1950s, have achieved rapid growth in large part through an astonishing mobilization of resources. Once one accounts for the role of rapidly growing inputs in these countries' growth, one finds little left to explain. Asian growth, like that of the Soviet Union in its high-growth era, seems to be driven by extraordinary growth in inputs like labor and capital rather than by gains in efficiency.Likewise, in explaining the extraordinary postwar growth of the Four Tigers, Young (1994b) concludes thatone arrives at total factor productivity growth rates, both for the nonagricultural economy and for manufacturing in particular, which are well within the bounds of those experienced by the OECD and Latin American economies over equally long periods of time. While the growth of output and manufacturing exports in the newly industrializing countries of East Asia is virtually unprecedented, the growth of total factor productivity in these countries is not.In the same vein, Kim and Lau (1994), comparing the sources of economic growth in these countries with those of Germany, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, found thatby far the most important source of economic growth in these countries [the Four Tigers] is capital accumulation, accounting for between 48 and 72 percent of their economic growth, in contrast to the case of the Group of Five industrialized countries, in which technical progress has played the most important role, accounting for between 46 and 71 percent of their economic growth.The results of these studies are not only strikingly different from the view presented earlier of the primacy of technological progress, but they also convey a very pessimistic message. First, economic growth in the Four Tigers is hardly miraculous: it is just the expected outcome of a massive accumulation of labor and capital. Second, the progress of these economies along this growth path for the past 30 years cannot continue. Sooner or later they will experience a dramatic decrease in growth. Third, the societies in these countries made enormous sacrifices of consumption and leisure to achieve these growth rates. Therefore, even if their so-called success can be replicated in other countries, it is probably not wise to do so.But how conclusive are these results? In fact, conclusions based on these studies are not very robust in that they are sensitive to the specific assumptions of each study.The main reason for this sensitivity is the difficulty of estimating the rate of growth of capital stock in the East Asian countries during the period under study. Especially in the case of the Four Tigers, for which there are no good data before 1960, it is extremely difficult to estimate the capital stock at that time. To estimate how much capital was available in 1960, dubious assumptions have to be made about the depreciation rate of capital stock and about how much investment flowed in during the years of explosive growth beginning in 1960. What, for example, are the depreciation rates of different types of capital (buildings, industrial machinery, computers)? Are they equal for all countries and for all industries, or are they higher in faster-growing economies? What method is being used to estimate investment flows in the past?Additional interpretational problems come from trying to estimate the share of national income attributable to capital and the share attributable to labor. Does the same amount of capital produce equal income in all countries and in all industries? Can statistics about the labor participation rate be trusted? Is the amount of effective work proportional to the hours that people work, or does working extra hours lead to diminishing returns? Should different types of labor (factory, office) be summed together? How should human capital be treated?Because of these unanswered and perhaps unanswerable questions, the results of studies that emphasize the contribution to growth of capital and labor and depreciate that of technology should not be regarded as definitive. They should be viewed as interesting, but only suggestive.Some Counter-Contrarian EvidenceUsing conventional parameters and a conventional method of extrapolation, we have conducted a growth accounting exercise for the Four Tigers during 1960-90 along the lines suggested by Young (1994a). The capital stock in these economies is assumed to be 0 in 1900 and subsequently to increase by investment flows less depreciation. The intention of this exercise is to demonstrate the general fragility of conclusions about the nature of the growth process in East Asia.Figures 1-4 describe the results of this growth accounting exercise. Figure 1 compares the growth rates of output per person of the Four Tigers with those of the rest of the world during 1960-75 and 1975-90. The first four bars in this figure describe the growth rates of the individual Tigers. The fifth bar describes the simple average growth rate of 100 countries, representing the rest of the world (row). The sixth bar represents the mean of the growth rate of the rest of the world plus a 1.96 standard deviation (row + 1.96sd). Growth rates can be regarded as "high" if they are above the row but below row + 1.96sd, "very high" if they are around row + 1.96sd, and "outstanding" if they exceed this value. Figure 1 shows that in this comparison the growth rates of output per person of Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan Province of China were very high in the 1960-75 period and outstanding in 1975-90, while the growth rate of Singapore was outstanding during the first period and very high during the second.Figure 2 describes, in the same manner, the growth rate of labor participation, which was generally high for the Four Tigers and outstanding in the case of Singapore during 1960-75. The first panel in Figure 3 describes the growth rate of capital per person during 1975-90. The rate of capital accumulation was high in Hong Kong, very high in Singapore and Taiwan Province of China, and outstanding in Korea. The second panel of Figure 3 describes the estimated rate of productivity growth during 1975-90: outstanding for Hong Kong, very high for Taiwan Province of China, somewhere between high and very high for Korea, and high for Singapore.Finally, Figure 4 compares the rates of technological progress (total factor productivity) in the Four Tigers during 1975-90 with those achieved by Japan and the United States during the same period. The first panel of Figure 4 shows that the growth in productivity in all Four Tigers exceeded by far productivity growth in the United States. Three of the four (except Singapore) also exceeded productivity growth in Japan. The second panel of Figure 4 describes the proportion of growth of output per person that is explained by productivity growth. It demonstrates that in the case of the Four Tigers this proportion was not systematically different from those of Japan and the United States: for Hong Kong and Taiwan Province of China it was slightly higher, while in the case of Korea and Singapore it was slightly lower.What conclusion emerges from this exercise? Although the Four Tigers accumulated capital and increased labor participation at a much faster rate than other economies, the increase in these two factors far from fully explains their exceptional growth rates; growth in productivity attributable to innovative technology also accounts for a significant fraction. In the case of Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan Province of China, their growth rates of total factor productivity are as outstanding as their output growth rates. Productivity growth in Singapore is less spectacular, but is still much above the world average. As a percentage of the growth rates of output per person, the productivity growth rates in these four economies are roughly similar to those in Japan and the United States.A final note on the debate. Just when one seems to have arrived at the above unambiguous and intellectually satisfying conclusions, a nagging doubt recommends checking on how sensitive these findings are to changes in the main parameters of the growth accounting exercise, such as the a parameter (usually at 0.3333) indicating the relative contribution of labor and capital, the depreciation rate, the reference period for extrapolation, the chosen estimation period, and the date for the beginning of capital accumulation. A sensitivity analysis shows that most parameters do not affect the results in any significant way, but that the a parameter and the choice of a specific estimation period are all-important. Small, simultaneous changes in both a and the estimation period give results opposite to the neat conclusions presented above. The findings reported by Young (1994a) regarding the low productivity growth in the Four Tigers were obtained by using a relatively high value for a (0.45) and a specific estimation period (1970-85). These choices, though only slightly different from those in the baseline calculation, together yield an estimate of productivity growth significantly lower than the baseline result. In other words, the debate over the relative contribution to economic growth of factor accumulation versus more efficient technology is still very much alive. Stay tuned.Role of Public PolicyAs the foregoing consideration suggests, the labor and capital accumulation versus total factor productivity debate remains inconclusive. Can other factors shed light on the mystery of growth? One suggestion is to look at the role of government.Lucas (1988) asked, "Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia's or Egypt's? If so, what, exactly?" The importance of this question can hardly be exaggerated. A usable answer would be the academic equivalent of alchemy, turning the dross of everyday economics into pure gold. Accordingly, the highest ambition of economists who examine the East Asian success is to identify a set of public policies that has promoted economic growth there and gives promise of doing so elsewhere.It should come as no surprise that opinions vary considerably about the effect of public policy and selective government interventions on stimulating economic growth. Exponents of these opinions fall into three schools. The first emphasizes the primacy of free markets. This school requires only that the government "get the basics right" and opposes any other kind of government intervention. (Getting the basics right means creating an environment in which the economy will thrive by, for example, making sure that the exchange rate reflects the economic fundamentals, that interest rates yield a positive return, that inflation is kept under control, and that taxes are not so burdensome as to discourage economic activity.) The second also embraces the view that the government get the basics right, but in addition advocates selective interventionist policies, particularly in developing countries. The third, somewhat agnostic, school denies the possibility of coming to any conclusion about the effects of public policy or of selective interventions on economic growth. The whole debate, according to this school, gets you nowhere.Free MarketsThe first school, basing its views on what is known as the neoclassical approach to economics in general and to economic growth in particular, espouses an underlying belief in classical liberalism. The production possibilities of any economy at any time are determined, according to this view, by the availability of physical resources and of innovative technology. The rate of economic growth in the long run is determined by the rate of technological progress, which is itself a natural outcome of fierce competition in the laissez-faire economic system. Since it regards markets as efficient, this school maintains that government should confine itself to providing public goods (roads and bridges, police protection) and to getting the basics right and should abstain from any further intervention in the market.This school wishes to restrict the role of government in the economy, but it is not anarchistic. It would assign to government both a microeconomic and a macroeconomic function. In its microeconomic aspect, government should ensure property rights, law and order, and adequate provision of public goods. It should avoid high tax rates, price controls, and other distortions of relative prices. On the macroeconomic side, government should ensure stable and low inflation, avoid excessive budget deficits, promote the integrity of the financial and banking system, provide for open markets, and strive for stable and realistic exchange rates.Advocates of this view see the success of East Asia as the natural outcome of these cautious policies.Selective InterventionThe revisionist view does not share the neoclassical belief in the efficiency of markets. It asserts that, especially in the poorer countries, markets work imperfectly. In poor countries, production creates externalities (unintended undesirable effects, such as pollution), credit is limited, and the market is a melée in which foreign and domestic firms savage one another and the public through unfair trade practices. Accordingly, the revisionists recommend an activist government that will moderate the excesses of the market and assist the orderly development of the economy by acquiring technology and by allocating funds for useful projects that promise a good rate of return. De Long and Summers (1991) sum up this view: "The government should jump-start the industrialization process by transforming economic structure faster than private entrepreneurs would." Advocates of this view see the success of East Asia as confirming their conviction.The revisionist view recognizes that the government must often choose firm-specific, highly complex, and nonuniform interventions. In extreme contradiction to the neoclassical doctrine, it allows, and even recommends, the active use of tax policy to manipulate relative prices in the economy. Even the World Bank (1993) report, after emphasizing the necessity of neoclassical "getting the basics right" policies in East Asia, concedes thatthese fundamental policies do not tell the entire story. In each of these economies the government also intervened to foster development, often systematically and through multiple channels. Policy interventions took many forms: targeted and subsidized credit to selected industries, low deposit rates and ceilings on borrowing rates to increase profits and retained earnings, protection of domestic import substitutes, subsidies to declining industries, the establishment and financial support of government banks, public investment in applied research, firm- and industry-specific export targets, development of export marketing institutions, and wide sharing of information between public and private sectors.AgnosticismA third school, rejecting the claims of both the neoclassicists and the revisionists, claims that we can say nothing meaningful about selective interventions because we cannot properly identify how such policies spur economic growth. There are four reasons for this skepticism.First, in analyzing "successful" policies, there is clear selection bias. Success has a thousand fathers; failure is an orphan. We know from the outset that the East Asian economies have been successful and that therefore government intervention did not inhibit growth. Consequently interventions in these economies are widely studied. On the other hand, since economists find unsuccessful economies much less attractive to study, they rarely look at government intervention in economies of this type. The selection of interventions to be analyzed is therefore skewed and is not scientifically neutral.Second, in most cases it is impossible to offer a realistic counterfactual scenario. Would the Hawaiians have invented innovative igloos if it snowed a lot in Honolulu? Would the U.S. economy have grown faster if, like the Soviet Union, its government had turned Communist in 1917? In other words, in analyzing specific interventions, we cannot address the most (and perhaps the only) relevant question, "How fast would these economies have grown if these policies had not been in place?"Third, public policy in the successful East Asian economies is far from homogeneous. Variation is large in the specific sectors and industries targeted for selective intervention in different countries. The more one examines the policies individual East Asian economies have pursued, the more evident it becomes how different, and indeed contradictory, these policies have been. Rodrik (1994), for example, remarks that the East Asian model encompasses highly interventionist strategies (Japan and Korea), as well as noninterventionist ones (Hong Kong and Thailand); explicitly redistributive policies (Malaysia), as well as distributionally neutral ones (most of the rest); clientelism (Indonesia and Thailand), as well as strong, autonomous states (Japan, Korea, Singapore); emphasis on large conglomerates (Korea), as well as on small, entrepreneurial firms (Taiwan). This range of strategies, all followed more or less successfully, suggests that the search for a simple explanation of the East Asian miracle may well be futile.Fourth, determining the correct direction of causality is tricky. For instance, in successful economies one usually finds policies that encourage low fiscal deficits and good educational systems. Are these policies responsible for the success of the economy, or is the success of the economy responsible for the policies? Observing that a specific variable is present along with growth does not necessarily constitute proof that the policy generates growth. It might be the other way around. For example, it is much easier for a government to maintain a healthy fiscal position when the economy is growing and tax revenues are on the increase than when the economy is stagnant and demand is strong for deficit-creating social expenditures, such as unemployment compensation. Is a small deficit a result or is it a cause of economic growth? Conventional wisdom relates education to wealth. But which causes which? When an economy is booming, a government can afford generous subsidies for education. Moreover, the demand for education increases when an economy is growing and the population is becoming richer (it is unnecessary for children to start working at age 12). Furthermore, when an economy experiences rapid technological change, the advantage of educated over uneducated workers will be greater than when the economy is stagnant. Therefore there will be an increase in the demand for education by individuals who want a better job in the dynamic economy. In this case, by the way, further education constitutes an advantage for the specific individual relative to other individuals but does not necessarily improve the macroeconomic prospects of the economy.These examples are presented not to prove that government policies are unimportant, but to make the modest point that we still understand very little about the relationship between public policy and the extraordinary growth rates of the East Asian economies. Other countries should be careful in trying to imitate the East Asian policies. Not understanding the causality between growth and industrialization, in particular, has proved to be a costly mistake for many poor countries that pushed for rapid industrialization in a futile effort to boost economic growth.Investment and Exports: The Engines of Growth?Among the many reasons suggested to account for the East Asian success, the investment rate and the export orientation of these economies enjoy enthusiastic support. These are often called "engines of growth" because their strength seems to be pulling the whole economy forward. Moreover, they appear to generate beneficial spillover effects for the rest of the economy. The policy implication of this view is obvious. If the hypothesis is valid, the government should jump start the engines of growth, and if certain sectors continue to contribute to economic progress, while others do not, then government should assist the economy's forward motion by promoting the "good" sectors. Therefore, it should encourage investments and exports, using such policy instruments as direct subsidies or preferential allocation of credit to promote these activities.Main ArgumentsThe view that investments and exports are engines of growth is based on one empirical and one theoretical argument. The empirical argument is that most East Asian countries that experience phenomenal growth rates also enjoy impressive rates of investment and are successful exporters. The theoretical argument as regards investment is that a high investment rate increases the capital stock (things used to create wealth) and that this can permanently increase the growth rate through economies of scale (e.g., bigger, more efficient factories, larger markets) and other beneficial side effects. In the case of exports, the theoretical argument is that export orientation increases the openness of the economy and, by exposing it to foreign technology and foreign competition, provokes a rapid rate of technological progress.What Is the Direction of Causality?As stated above, a positive correlation between two variables (where one is found, the other is found) does not prove that one causes the other. In all the East Asian economies one can find export orientation and rapid technological progress. How are export orientation and technological progress related? The theoretical argument suggests that because a country is oriented to exporting, it becomes exposed to foreign technology: export orientation is the cause of technological advance. But the opposite might also be true, that technological advances cause export orientation. Suppose that some industries improve their technology and others do not. It is natural that industries with more advanced technology can compete in international markets and increase the quantity of their exports. In this case, the data will reveal a strong correlation between export performance and the rate of technological progress across industries. Likewise, developing countries that are better in learning and applying advanced foreign technology will enjoy an advantage in world markets and be able to sell their products abroad.Investment rates (or equivalently, saving rates) appear to have a causal relationship to growth rates (i.e., saving causes growth). Nevertheless, a strong argument of reversed causality can be made even in this case. A study by Carroll and Weil (1994), examining data on savings and investment within households in various countries, found, in fact, that growth causes saving, but saving does not cause growth. Using these data, they discovered that households whose income is on the rise save more than households that experience little or no growth in income, a finding that represents a powerful reinterpretation of the growth-saving relationship. The study also offers from its findings a theoretical explanation that recognizes savers as creatures of habit. Although their incomes may be growing, households will respond slowly to their expanding wealth and will increase their consumption only gradually, with the effect that they save more. In this case, increased saving rates are caused by increased growth rates, and not vice versa.Initial ConditionsThe main empirical argument that a high rate of investment and a concentration on exporting have caused economic growth is the strong positive correlation between these two variables and the rates of growth found in the East Asian economies. In particular, the Four Tigers, the best performing economies in the region, display exceptional investment rates and an extremely high degree of openness (that is, they have a lot of exports and imports relative to the size of the economy). The section above stressed the problem of possible reverse causality between growth and these variables. A further problem is that of averages. Most studies observe a correlation between investment and exporting that are averaged over a period and a rate of growth that is averaged over the same period. Using averages over a period obscures the relation between the variables. A simple partial solution to disentangling the skein of causality is to observe the values of the explanatory variables at the beginning of the period rather than to take their average values over the period. Finding, for example, that economies with high growth rates during the 1960-90 period had very high investment rates or a significant export orientation around 1960 would go a long way toward solving the problem of reverse causality.An examination of the dynamics of the investment rate and the openness of the economies of Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China that compares the 1960 levels of these variables in the Four Tigers with those in other countries does not offer much support for the view that export orientation and investment have been engines of growth. The comparison of the 1960 investment rates of the four economies with the investment rates of 100 other economies clearly rejects the view that investment rates were high in the Four Tigers in 1960. Not only were the investment rates in these economies low in absolute values, but they were very modest even when compared with rates in other countries with a comparable level of income.The same comparative exercise can be performed to test for openness (imports and exports as a percentage of GDP), taking into consideration such factors as the geographical size of the country, an important variable in determining the degree of openness of an economy. Small countries need to trade more than large countries with big internal markets. Reflecting this, Hong Kong and Singapore show a high degree of openness both during 1960-90 and at the beginning of the same period. On the other hand, Korea and Taiwan Province of China, which are geographically much larger, were not particularly open in 1960, either in absolute terms or relative to other countries of comparable size.This analysis demonstrates that high investment rates and a large degree of openness were certainly not a general feature of the Four Tigers in 1960. The high investment rates (Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China) and the high degree of openness (Korea and Taiwan Province of China) were economic features that evolved in these economies only gradually, accompanying rather than preceding the process of economic growth. The conclusion is that the view of these activities as engines of growth does not find much support in the data.Some Positive Evidence Regarding Initial ConditionsWere there other variables that characterized the initial conditions in the East Asian countries and, if so, what contribution might they have made to the subsequent growth of these economies? A study by Rodrik in 1994 examined precisely this question. It was inspired by the view that "In searching for the secrets of the East Asian miracle, the obvious place to look is the set of initial conditions that precede economic take-off." Examining the initial conditions, the study finds that, in certain important respects, they were very different from what one would expect, given the income level of these economies.Tracing average growth of income per person in 41 countries during 1960-85 back to initial conditions in 1960, Rodrik shows that countries that were poorer, but that had good primary education systems and less inequality of income and land distribution around 1960, grew faster than the others during the following period. The study compares actual data on education and demographics (fertility rate and mortality rate) in eight East Asian countries with the predicted values we would expect, given their initial income, and compared inequality of income and land ownership around 1960 with the same characteristics of other developing countries at a comparable income level. The results show strong evidence that in terms of initial conditions (equality of land and income, school enrollment, high life expectancy and low fertility rates), the eight East Asian countries were significantly better off than countries with similar levels of income. These findings raise the possibility (but do not prove) that these initial conditions may help explain the phenomenal growth rates we observed in East Asia after 1960.The empirical evidence presented by Rodrik regarding the possible influence of initial conditions in explaining the East Asian miracle is impressive but should be accepted with caution because of the small number of observations. Data on initial conditions in 1960, especially for developing countries, are rare and are of questionable quality. While Rodrik's results suggest a possible explanation for the East Asian success, they are not robust enough to rule out other possibilities. Furthermore, it is not clear what the normative implications of these findings are. For example, suppose that land equality is indeed beneficial for economic growth. Does that mean that land redistribution is a good policy to promote growth? Not necessarily. The redistribution may be extremely damaging by weakening property rights or disrupting political stability, which are obviously essential to growth. Likewise, lowering fertility rates by government decree may be bad for growth, even if low fertility rates are found to be good for growth.Concluding RemarksThe recent literature on the East Asian growth experience has sparked an intense intellectual debate. This study has attempted to review critically the main arguments in this debate, covering some of its most important dimensions. Inevitably, other important dimensions did not receive fair representation, such as theories about nonmonotonic dynamics of growth (in which middle-income countries can take off and grow faster than either rich or poor countries) and about the importance of the geographical concentration of growth successes (why is East Asia the habitat of all Four Tigers?).The study does not offer clear and conclusive results nor does it make clear policy recommendations. Its main judgment is that, from a positive point of view, a promising avenue for the explanation of growth performance is the examination of initial conditions. Nevertheless, from a normative point of view, it is far from clear what specific policies governments should pursue, beyond the standard set of policies aimed at getting the basics right.ReferencesCarroll, Christopher D., and David N. Weil, "Saving and Growth: A Reinterpretation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Vol. 40 (1994), pp. 133-92.De Long, J. Bradford, and Lawrence H. Summers , "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," Quarterly Journal of Economics, No. 106 (May 1991), pp. 445-502.Kim, Jong-Il, and Lawrence J. Lau, "The Sources of Economic Growth of the East Asian Newly Industrialized Countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Vol. 8 (1994), pp. 235-71.Krugman, Paul, "The Myth of Asia's Miracle," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 73 (November-December, 1994), pp. 62-78.Lucas, Robert E., Jr., "On the Mechanics of Economic Development," Journal of Monetary Economics, No. 22 (July, 1988), pp. 3-42.Rodrik, Dani, "King Kong Meets Godzilla: The World Bank and the East Asian Miracle," Chapter 1 in Miracle or Design? Lessons From the East Experience, ed. by Albert Fishlow and others (Washington: Overseas Development Council, 1994).Solow, Robert M., "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," Quarterly Journal of Economics, No. 70 (1956), pp. 65-94.World Bank, The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy, Summary (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).Young, Alwyn, "Tale of Two Cities: Factor Accumulation and Technical Change in Hong Kong and Singapore," NBER Economics Annual, (1992) pp. 13-54.------ "Lessons From the East Asian NICs: A Contrarian View," European Economic Review, No. 38 (April, 1994a), pp. 964-73.------ "Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," NBER Working Paper, No. 4680 (March, 1994b).Author InformationMichael Sarel is an economist in Southeast Asia and Pacific Department of the International Monetary Fund. He graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received a Ph.D from Harvard University.LILI NA FILA HAVITANGAMANI
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Below a jovial Honorable Kimunya while presenting vision 2030

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Q and A-Why didn't you raise your voice in Moi days Publication Date: 3/31/2007In this Saturday Nation series, we invite you to put questions to public figures. Our guest this week is Mwingi North MP and former Cabinet minister Kalonzo Musyoka .QUESTION: How come you never raised a finger during the Moi days when some people almost ruined our country and only started noticing the shortcomings when things did not go your way?— Mugwika Isaac, Nairobi. ANSWER: I was not president then. Judge me by my presidency. You claim to stand for integrity; can you confirm or deny that you presided over the worst case of election rigging in Kenya when you supervised a by-election in Kiharu constituency between Dr Gikonyo Kiano and Mr Gidraf Mweru?— Robinson Kariuki Mwangi, Meru.Mr Kalonzo MusyokaI was not the supervisor for the Kiharu elections. David Mugambi, the executive officer of Kanu was. I went there as an observer and I strongly advised President Moi against the outcome. You were a Foreign minister for a long time, yet the country does not have a sound foreign policy. Please comment.— Enoc Osando, Pangani.It is not correct to say that Kenya has no clear foreign policy. We have a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. A policy that advocates for the aggressive projection of Kenya’s image abroad. As a country, we practise economic diplomacy aimed at winning investors and seeking markets for Kenyan manufactured goods and products. Do you think you have the resources to face President Kibaki in a General Election?— Peter Odawa, Nairobi.Leadership is about trust and not resources. I have criss-crossed Kenya looking for ODM votes and that required resources, which were available. If Raila Odinga beats you fairly in ODM nominations and goes ahead to appoint you as his running mate in the General Election, would you take up the offer?—Benard Kibet Langat, Nairobi.I will support him in the event that he beats me fairly. Mwingi North is one of the poorest constituencies in Kenya, despite you serving in key government positions for many years. What will you offer Kenyans as president that you have failed to offer your constituents?— Alex Muthyoi, Kitui. Mwingi North is not the poorest constituency. Mwingi North has the cleanest water to be found anywhere, thanks to my intervention. Mwingi Town is one of the fastest growing towns in Kenya. I took over as MP when there were four secondary schools. Today, we have 40. We have built 167 primary schools, a sub-district hospital, health centres, etc. The only drawback is that we have poor roads. Can Kenyans trust you with leadership when you served the Kanu regime when proponents of change were harassed, maimed and even killed while you defended these atrocities internationally?— Nguthi Nyingi, Nairobi.Almost everyone in politics today is associated with Kanu in one way or another.Some people from Ukambani say they will support ODM only if you are elected the flag-bearer. Please comment. — Chris Mutungi, Kaiti.They are entitled to their views. ODM is not about Kalonzo only, there are other players.Can you deny that the Kibaki Government’s performance has been better compared to the Moi regime which you served for more than 10 years?— Francis Kimani, Nairobi. What we are seeing is recovery and not major growth. In any case, we envisage faster recovery than is currently experienced leading to a sustained growth should ODM form the next government. In correcting some of our worst problems, some people feel Kenya needs a radical leader. You portray the image of a “soft” or “diplomatic” leader. To what extent could you exercise positive radicalism to reform the economy and the political system?—Stephen Mutoro, Nairobi.I am compassionate leader. I refer you to my vision. Why don’t you support President Kibaki’s re-election for the country to experience uninterrupted economic growth for the next five years.— D.K. Gicheha, Gatundu South.Let democracy flourish. We in ODM intend to challenge him in competitive politics and wananchi will decide the victor. Why don’t you and Raila Odinga hold private meetings to resolve your differences?— James Otieno, Japan.Thank you for your advice. We are working on it.In the event that you win the ODM-K nomination and eventually the presidency, how do you plan to accommodate Mr Odinga, Mr William Ruto, Mr Najib Balala and Mr Musalia Mudavadi in your government?All of them will be accommodated, because I believe in team leadership.Why didn’t you raise the idea of free or affordable secondary education when you served as minister for Education?— Bethwell Enaga, Teso.It is possible. In my constituency I have seen thousands of people through secondary school. Kenya can afford free secondary education for the very poor. What makes you think you are the best presidential candidate in ODM, other than opinion polls? — Kennedy Otieno Abong’o, Kitale.Opinion polls are just that — opinion polls. However, I believe Kenyans who have followed my political career over the years know that when duty calls, I am ever ready.In light of your impressive showing in opinion polls, can you tell us whether you will not go your own way and contest on another party if you are not nominated ODM-K presidential candidate?— Richard wa Malabe, Mumias.I am part of a bigger team that will form the next government.The genesis of the current political, economic and social crisis in Kenya is the fact that at independence, power was handed over to the hijackers of the struggle, who to date have continued ruling over us. The second liberation was not any different. When did you see the light, or are you interested in hijacking the struggle again? — Mwaura wa Muthoni, Nairobi. I believe in effecting change from within and without.What is your Plan B in case of a fallout in ODM? —Hassan Mohamed, Meru South.I have no Plan B. There will be no fallout.Do you agree that you need Mr Odinga more than he needs you to win the presidency? — Molly Abuga, Nyamira.We are part of a team. We all need each other.What plans do you have for minorities such as the Hindu community?— Nav Patel, Nairobi.My government will embrace the interests of all Kenyans.How do you plan to eradicate poverty, corruption and regional imbalance in Kenya?— James Mutuka, Murang’a.By focusing on empowering the rural poor economically and equitably distributing resources to all regions.In 2002, you and Mrs Ngilu rallied your supporters to Narc and now you appear not to be reading from the same script. Are you making efforts to consolidate your support in Ukambani and speak with one voice with Mrs Ngilu?— David Nyang’onda, Kisii.I am seeking support everywhere in the country, not just Ukambani.How will ODM handle the fact that some of the political offices proposed in its power sharing plan are not provided for in the Constitution?— Kibunja wa Ndung’u, Nairobi.In ODM, we believe in principles and commitments, when the time comes those constitutional provisions will be created.Some people perceive you as a slow-to-forgive person, please comment on how you handle disappointment. — Wilson Situma, Thika.That is a wrong perception. I am fortnight in speaking my mind but also forgive those who wrong me.Last weekend, Health minister Charity Ngilu, declared that she too is going for the presidency on an NPK ticket. How would you gauge her popularity and does she pose a threat to you in Ukambani? — George Gopal, Nairobi.She is not a threat. I have countrywide support.Don’t you think it is good to campaign as a team to avoid breaking up ODM instead of each presidential candidate going their way?— Justus Onkware Arita, Nairobi.It is good to campaign as a team but individual candidates should also freely woo delegates to their side.In the event that someone else (other than you) won the ODM presidential ticket and you feel that the process was not free and fair, will you pull out of the movement? — David Oruongo, Nairobi. I will do my best to keep the unity of the party. We are putting in place mechanisms to ensure that the outcome is acceptable. You have been portrayed by the media as “Mr Clean” . The land where your Kasuku Complex in Kileleshwa stands used to be Government land. How did the ownership change? — Vincent L. Kirwa, Nairobi.The complex is not mine.Should Kenyans entrust you with the high office, how will your presidency be different from the Kibaki regime?—Dr Benjamin Mogaka Obegi, Nigeria.All inclusive, taking account of all regions in the distribution of national sources; progressive; and economically empowering the struggling majority. Who funds your ODM campaign rallies?— Donald Tony Ambunya, Nairobi.You once said, all the IPOs conducted recently at NSE will be rescinded after ODM comes into office; don’t you think you’re scaring investors?— Kuria, Githunguri.That was not me, it was another aspirant. I did say that the IPOs majority stake is in the hands of a few individuals.Comment on allegations that the ODM secretariat is flooded by cronies.— Benard Ndung’u Maseno University.We intend to overhaul the secretariat to cater for the interest for all members. In my view, people from poor backgrounds do not necessarily make good leaders; Nazi Germany’s leader Adolf Hitler is a case in point. Yet in your campaigns, you seem to make the issue of “family background” mega. Can you shed more light on “leadership” and “family background”? — D. Odwar-Orondo, Nairobi.A leader who shares a similar background with the people he leads is more in tune with their aspirations and suffering and able to deal with them better.LILI NA FILA HAVITANGAMANI
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Mwai Kibaki is yet another household name in Kenyan politics. If you ever had questions as to who exactly qualifies as an elite, this is the guy you are looking for. Mwai Kibaki joins a very short list of Kenyans(Africans) who have benefited from a high quality education and an affluent family background. In fact, he hails from Nyeri District in Central Province, whose residents have always been associated with high education and wealth, the likes of Prof. Wangari Maathai. Land in Nyeri is also very fertile, and was the main attraction to the British colonialists, when they came to Kenya. The media in Kenya never misses an opportunity to depict the elitism in Kibaki, often taking pictures of him shooting rounds of golf--Kibaki's and other rich peoples' favourite sport. Some have argued that this perception might have cost Kibaki the presidency in 1992 and 1997 because he is considered not to be in touch with the needs of ordinary Kenyans. He is also said to be too much of a "gentleman" and therefore not suited for Kenya's combative style of politics, exhibited best by his fellow Central Province opponent Kenneth Matiba. Kibaki has also been dogged by his long 10-year tenure as Vice President to President Moi, and his subsequent portfolio as Minister for Health in the same administration. It was for this reason that when he left KANU in 1991 to form his Democratic Party(DP), his opponents were quick to label him a KANU mole in the opposition, an allegation Kibaki initially found hard to shrug off.Kibaki was born on November 15th 1931 in Othaya, Nyeri District of Central Province. A highly intelligent kid, he got admission to Mang'u High School, one of Kenya's premier High Schools, and like Alliance High School, almost a rite of passage for Kenya's rich and famous. As expected, Kibaki excelled at Mang'u before proceeding to the prestigious Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda for a BA course in Economics, History and Political Science. He then enrolled at the London School of Economics for a B.Sc. in Public Finance before returning to Makerere as an Economics Lecturer. Whoever paid for Kibaki's education, must be an extremely gratified individual because every time Kibaki opens his mouth to speak about national issues, you get a sense that this is an extremely well informed individual with an amazing grasp of the nuts and bolts surrounding such issues.Kibaki's entry into Kenyan politics can be traced to the early 1960's when he left his job as a lecturer at Makerere University to work for KANU, and participate in the struggle for independence. In the 1963 General Elections, he contested and won the Bahati seat in Nairobi and was in the following year, appointed Assistant Minister for Economic Planning and Development in Kenyatta's government. He was later moved to the Commerce and Industry Ministry before landing his first powerful job as Minister of Finance and Planning in 1969. After bagging this portfolio, Kibaki became a definite political heavyweight in Kenya and in 1978 when President Moi ascended to power, he made Kibaki his Vice President. Kibaki lasted 10 years as Moi's Vice President, something most Kenyans will tell you is a remarkable achievement, given Moi's well known frequent cabinet reshufflings. In 1988, Kibaki was dropped as Vice President and moved to the Health Ministry, in a clear attempt to clip his political wings. Rumours were rife that Kibaki would ditch KANU and resign in protest, but he stayed put and served well in his new-found Health portfolio.Kibaki finally ditched KANU in December 1991 to form his Democratic Party(DP), just days after the repeal of Section 2(A) of the constitution, which effectively made Kenya a Multi-Party state. Kibaki took a lot of heat for this from his opposition colleagues, who called him a coward for not helping them in their fight to repeal section 2(A) and raised suspicions as to his real intentions, having been a KANU insider for so long. His move was painted as an attempt by KANU to dillute the power of FORD, a pressure group which had just been formed in August(4 months earlier), was enjoying tremendous popularity, and was clearly poised to wrest power from KANU. Somehow Kibaki survived this onslaught and indeed transformed his Democratic Party into a powerful party. He did a brilliant job of targetting the independent voters who wanted nothing to do with the more radical KANU on the one hand and FORD on the other. More blessings came the DP way in August 1992, when the mighty FORD split into two parties, FORD-Kenya under Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and FORD-Asili under Kenneth Matiba. The backlash from this split played into DP's favour and solidified its reputation as a stable and principle-driven party. It also finally gave Kibaki some ammo against his FORD critics, who initially were having field days attacking DP. His party, originally popular only in his Central Province, began making tremendous inroads into Eastern and Western Provinces, long time bastions of KANU.In the 1992 Elections, Moi won with a total of 1,927,640 votes. Kenneth Matiba(FORD-Asili Party) came in second with 1,354,856 votes, followed by Mwai Kibaki(Democratic Party) who got 1,035,507. Oginga Odinga came in fourth with 903,866 votes. It must be stated that Kibaki did pretty well given that the real battle had been anticipated to be between KANU and the two FORDS. After this elections, DP's place as a major political party in Kenya was sealed, and this fact was proven in the 1997 elections, when it gave KANU a run for its money. This time Moi won with a total of 2,500,856 votes. Kibaki(DP) came in second with 1,911,742 votes and Raila Odinga(NDP) was third with 667,886 votes. Kijana Wamalwa(FORD-Kenya) came in fourth with 505,704 votes. Kibaki remains a strong contender for the Presidency, going into the 2002 General Elections and it will be quite interesting to see how he fares in a field without the outgoing President Moi.Return to the Home Page BOYCOTT FOR DAILY NATION and STANDARD ON
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PAUL MUITE HAS NO MORAL FIBRE TO BASH THE KIBAKI GOVERNMENTHeads to roll over Goldenberg scandalDeremo MaikoNo single financial event has had far-reaching impact on the Kenyan economy than the hydra-headed Goldenberg Scandal of 1990 to 1993. While the amounts that were involved are yet to be determined, Kenyans are still counting the cost. But what cannot be gainsaid is that the monies shelled out are widely believed to have bankrolled an extremely liquid election campaign by former ruling party Kenya African National Union (KANU) in 1992.Resolution of the matter is key to unlocking billions in multilateral and bilateral donor funds that have largely been withheld as the case, now terminated, was bogged down in the court process. It is, however, expected to bring major embarrassment to players some of whom are in the ruling National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).In its basic form, Goldenberg, now subject of a judicial commission of inquiry, involved export compensation for fake diamond and gold transactions. In one facet alone, some Sh13.5 billion ($180 million) was shelled out to Goldenberg International from the Central Bank of Kenya, purportedly to purchase the accruing foreign exchange. The logic was simple: Proprietors of the firm were tapping into the black mineral market and thus would receive the 20 per cent non-traditional export compensation. But strangely, without going through Parliament, the compensation for Goldenberg was jerked up by 15 per cent.The history of the company, whose directors were Kamlesh Pattni and former chief of the Directorate of Security Intelligence Mr James Kanyottu, is so simple yet bizarre. In 1990, Pattni then a back street jeweler, approached the government with a proposal on how to export the commodities, then largely traded as contraband from the Great Lakes Region.On the surface, the government had reason to buy the ambitious scheme. Tourism dollar was on the wane, resulting in severe foreign exchange shortage and an acute balance of payments problem. The main reason behind the crisis was political ferment associated with the clamour for pluralism and the resultant tribal clashes. Armed with unverified claims of a diamond and gold workshop, the scheme was given a go-ahead.This was despite the discontent expressed in Parliament as early as 1991. A Permanent Secretary Mr Joseph Magari was summarily dismissed in November 1991, after endorsing recommendation from his officers that the compensation be stopped or be extended to other exporters apart from Mr Pattni; he has since been hired again by NARC in the same capacity and his hand is seen in the formation of the commission.While compensation was the most visible part of the scam, other things happened simultaneously. Political banks mainly associated with Asians popped up and borrowed heavily from Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). They would then lend the money to CBK and make windfall profit as the regulator sought to mop up the money, which it had printed to pay the dubious compensation and to finance the banks' overdrafts.The results were devastating. Money supply went up 35 per cent in 1993. Inflation at one point galloped at 105 per cent. By the time Finance Minister Musalia Mudavadi was pressurised by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to put a cap on the payments, government was grappling with the impact in the money markets.To mop up the money, it had to issue Treasury bills ranging from one month to three months. That, on its own, meant banks were not interested in lending the private economy. Interest rates stayed up in the markets and the private sector was crowded out by government. Banks remain highly exposed to Treasury bill income to now.The Treasury bills' yield remained in the double-digit zone until last year - when former CBK Governor Nahashon Nyagah's effort to shift borrowing to longer term bonds started bearing fruit - and the public debt ballooned on to the current over Sh600 billion ($7.8 billion).In the past decade, absolute poverty level, in most part due to the transactions surrounding Goldenberg, rose from 46 per cent to nearly 60 per cent.Economic growth in the aftermath has stagnated. While in between 1993 and 1997 decent growth was recorded largely due to inflows from the crumbling neighbouring states of Somalia, Rwanda and Ethiopia, since then things have changed. IMF in 1997 cut its aid after one year of resumption as the government dilly dallied on prosecuting Goldenberg players. Other donors fled and would only return briefly in 2000.Economic growth in 2000 hit a nadir of negative 0.2 per cent, the first time in history the Kenyan economy had shrunk.The current government, coming on a reform platform, is thus keen to get IMF and other donors back as it grapples with Sh67 billion financial deficit, and Goldenberg resolution is seen as important in this. With all the negative impact it had, the Scandal has also shaped the fiscal and monetary sectors for the good. First, government is only allowed to borrow only six per cent of its last audited expenditure from CBK. This has meant ruling politicians cannot print money using the CBK overdraft and instead have had to contend with using corrupt tendering, land grabbing and commodity dumping in the domestic market to finance their campaigns.Extremely punitive rates are charged to commercial banks who chose to borrow from CBK, thus confining them to the inter-bank market. Five banks involved in the scandalous CBK overdraft saga of the Goldenberg era were closed after 1993. Generally, the banking system has been more stable. But even as the government seeks to get the culprits of the Scandal, embarrassment lies ahead. Former Finance Minister of the time Prof George Saitoti is an important player in the government, occupying the crucial docket of education. Vice President Kijana Wamalwa once when heading a Parliamentary committee is on record recommending that Mr Pattin should get more payment arising from the scheme.The opposition is neither clean. A leading light legislator Paul Muite is alleged to have been paid Sh20 million ($259,740) by Mr Pattni to keep quiet. Founder of the opposition the late Jaramogi Odinga admitted receiving Sh2 million. A judge of the High Court Samuel Oguk has had to resign over alleged corruption while handling the matter. He threatened to reveal the role of Gideon Moi, a son of the former President, in the saga. Mr Moi's threat to sue over the allegations was never made good for unknown reason.While IMF is keen to resume aid and to have the matter laid to rest, it is clearly a Pandora's box. But it's resolution will be crucial in getting Kenya from the top corruption roll call and getting the economy on track with donor support.BOYCOTT FOR DAILY NATION and STANDARD ON
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WHEN DID THE THIEVE BECAME THE JUDGE? Where is OTIENO KAJWANGLegal profession should be cleansedThe legal profession is in grave danger but it is trouble of their own making. It is true that every profession has its rotten eggs which makes it unfair to generalise and call every lawyer a crook, but we cannot really pull punches on this issue.More to the point, the legal profession has always been a den of thieves but it is only now that more people are speaking out and seeking remedies to a situation that is both embarrassing to the clean lawyer and oppressive to the victims.That is why statements by Chief Justice Bernard Chunga, Director of Public Prosecutions Uniter Kidullah and the chairman of the Law Society of Kenya, Dr Gibson Kamau Kuria, about the need to clean up the profession strike a chord.Mr Chunga said as CJ he would spare no efforts to fight corruption, and other social vices in general, while Mrs Kidullah was more specific: In graphic language, She said the legal profession had been "convicted, sentenced to death and buried" because of graft.Not quite, but many people, especially those who have been victimised by thieving lawyers, may wish it was. Two recent developments underline that need. The first one was in August when legislator Otieno Kajwang was disbarred by the disciplinary committee of the Law Society of Kenya for cheating a client. He did not refute the accusation, nor has he, to our knowledge, appealed the action.The second was when the Association of Kenyan Insurers suggested that insurance firms pay beneficiaries of court awards with two cheques to protect them from lawyers who have made it a habit to either delay payment or steal the money outright.As should have been expected, the Law Society of Kenya objected to the suggestion vigorously, though the arguments they presented proved to be less than convincing. The matter is still in abeyance, but the AKI move should be seen as what it was: an attempt to cut down the amount of thievery prevalent in the legal profession.Of course avarice is not confined to lawyers. The Bench is also riddled with compromised magistrates and even judges who will dispense justice only for a consideration. But for the time being, we are concerned with lawyers and we hope the three institutions of CJ, DPP and LSK will work a lot more vigorously to try to at least sanitise the legal profession. They can do that. Thieving lawyers are not exempt from the laws of the land. BOYCOTT FOR DAILY NATION and STANDARD ON
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SIR CHARLES NJONJO THE MSALITIBy SUSAN MURAYANOOTY 'Sir' Charles Mugane Njonjo, he of the Kabeteshire fame, sure has a selective nose. We have heard tales of how he so loved to hitch a ride in the official presidential limousine in the early eighties when he was what you’d today call kusema (the decider-in-chief) in the then President Daniel arap Moi’s Government.Now, the tale goes, a clever chap who knew a few things about Njonjo’s sensitive sense of smell devised a trick that would keep Njonjo out of the President’s main ride for good. The trick was to squeeze one hefty Cabinet colleague of Njonjo’s, a minister known as Stanley Oloitiptip, into Moi’s posh limo.Tale has it that when Njonjo that day opened the window of the presidential car to snuggle up at his favourite corner, his aristocratic nose was assaulted by an insufferable whiff: The smell of roasted goat hooves or something. Fable ends that was the last day 'Sir' Njonjo was ever seen near the First Ride.Fable or fact, we can’t tell. What is certain is that in his heyday, the smell of a goat was not the only thing that Njonjo didn’t like. Apparently, he didn’t quite appreciate the smell of something called the East African Community (EAC) so much so that, it is claimed, he downed a whole bottle of prime champagne in celebration when the Community came crushing down like a house of cards in 1977.Njonjo’s nostrils were at peace for 29 years from that particular putrescence until recently when some people with obviously primitive sense of smell decided to bring it back. When he recently got a whiff at his Muthaiga castle that the Community was on its way back, he was obviously not amused. “Forget it” was his sagacious advice.It is the of sort of snorty, senior citizen counsel we have been receiving from Njonjo lately. Having stayed away from the scene for many years, probably because he found Kenyan politics stinking, Njonjo is now back with lots of grandfatherly advice to go round. He even has some for his beloved Church of England... er... Anglican Church Of Kenya (ACK).According to the grand old man, abortion and homosexuality are not a big deal and the Church has got better things to do than demonise these acts. Progressive, one would say. Way too progressive for a man known for political conservatism. As Attorney General, Njonjo presided over a period when Kenya’s democratic development was severely stunted by Constitutional amendments aimed at entrenching the conservative views of the ruling class of which Njonjo was a member.Ironically, it was the monster that Njonjo created that eventually did him in. When Njonjo made it a law that it was a mortal sin called treason to even fantasise the death of the President, he had no idea that in a few short years he would himself be appearing in a kangaroo court answering charges of committing such a sin.Yet, Njonjo has no qualms talking about the failed attempt at patching up the mess he made of the Constitution. Immediately after the proposed Constitution was rejected, Njonjo was at Uhuru Park sharing a platform with his former enemies-gloating. Well, he may have presented it as a genuine concern for a country gone to the dogs. But then it is not easy believing him. Not after the orgy of Constitutional mutilation that Njonjo and the power brokers of his time presided over.Then Njonjo had something else to say at the Uhuru Park gloating ceremony. That he was ashamed of being Kikuyu. Perhaps he was confessing it for the first time in public, but Njonjo has never been proud of his community. Not only is Njonjo ashamed of his ethnic background. He is embarrassed of being black and Kenyan, too. How else would one explain his affected mannerisms and tastes that contributed to his being nicknamed 'Sir Charles of Kabeteshire.'Njonjo is not the only Anglophile in town. Most of the politicians and civil servants of the 50s and 60s imported everything from water to wives from Britain but this: Governance. They loved the structures and symbols alright. A Parliament straight out of Westminster. A court system that came complete with the ugly wigs. Plus other empty political and cultural shells that had the British trademark, but devoid of substance.It was basically this kind of borrowing that is responsible for the cultural and political confusion that we find ourselves today. The leaders of the 60s borrowed the foreign ways that wowed the masses to cover the thieving and bad governance. Then they had to steal on a large scale to finance their acquired tastes.If we have a bad constitution and an economy that suffers from fits and starts, if corruption and incompetence are the bane of our public service, if self aggrandisement is the main ambition of every politician, if our youth ape everything from accessories to accents from the West, it is because the founding fathers got it wrong at the very start. And Njonjo is the perfect representation of that first failure.When Njonjo recently criticised the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as another of the many policy mistakes that he keeps seeing in the governments of these days, one felt like telling the octogenarian to just shut up and go write his memoirs, where he can put all the records straight. There are those hair-raising ones we don’t wish to get into right now, but some are soft enough for the digestive system and they should be the soup of what will obviously be a six-coarser of an autobiography.For instance, why is this country currently in a rut it has been struggling to get out of in vain? An honest first hand account from a man of Njonjo’s standing would really set the record straight for once and for all. There must have been a meeting or telephone call or letter he might have read or written that must have set this country on the path of failure.Sometimes things just happen but in most cases they have a genesis. A conspiracy, a sin of commission or omission. Which one Mr Njonjo did sow the seed that germinated and grew into the tree that has been bringing forth bitter fruits this country all these years?The growth of the autocratic presidency that is being felt even in these relatively democratic times where a man of acclaimed gentlemanly mien is the holder of the post must have had a beginning. It was not merely something to do with the Founding Father of the Nation Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s forceful, and his successor Moi’s overbearing personalities.The genetic make up of the leaders may have had a hand, but the Constitutional make up allowed them to exercise the freedom to be themselves without a care in the world. Njonjo was the Attorney-General and later Minister for Constitutional Affairs during those formative years when the Constitution was being manipulated to suit the whims and temperaments of the leaders. What does Njonjo have to say for himself?Every one, as we love to say, is entitled to their opinion. It is a free country and we all have the freedom to say whatever we want. But as long Njonjo and his ilk fail to provide convincing answers that today’s young people are asking every time they read another “No vacancy” sign on yet another door, they forfeit their right to free expression. They don’t deserve the right to comment when things go wrong. True, CDF may be a cash cow for the MPs, but look who is talking! BOYCOTT FOR DAILY NATION and STANDARD ON
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That is what what happens when my drivers are so stupid? You thought you were going somewhere when you were going nowhere। ODMKenya have done it again

The Kenya Liner under the captainship of Mwai Kibaki is cruising 80neutical miles। The ship has been so good but it has been experiencing difficulties due the high threats of home grown pirates led by a self declared sect leader in the name of Omalo Odinga. However it has been reported that the flag is still flying high.

MOLES and Spies from within. Do you know them? Look carefully.

The captain of all political party pirates in Kenya, Omolo Raila Odinga is well known for perfecting his game of sinking political party ships. In the pirate boat on the right are Omolo Odinga(captain) Peter Anyang Ny'ong'o, Mr Larry Gumbe, Mutula Kilonzo, Henry Kosgey, Uhuru Kenyatta, Otieno Kajwang, Musalia Mudavandi, Lina Kilimo, J.J Kamothomo, Maoka Maore, Justin Mutuli, Omingo Mangara, Samoe Ruto, John Githongo, Sir Edward Clay, Sir Charles Magane Njonjo, Sheik Balala. However if you look at the boat keenly you will realize that it is tilting on one side after it hit a rock while chasing Kibaki Liner above.

This is the Captain of the pirate boat: Omolo Raila Odinga.
The devil lies in these two. Their game plan is for another Iraq or Somalia in Kenya
Brother in Christ Stephene Kalonzo Musyoka above, knows how to hide behind the Bible but his records will be made public soon. Remember he is a student and prostege of the former Ukambani supremo Mwanoo Mulu Mutyisia.

Here are the true symbols of all these pirates. Read them carefully.
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Finance Minister, Amos Kimunya’s made an excellent presentation of Vision 2030 to Kenyans in US urging them to be apart of a new Kenya.The minister was hailed for his eloquent articulation of the government’s policy on economic recovery and existing investment opportunities.He said the Kibaki government plans to make Kenya a middle-income nation by the year 2030, with a sustained GDP growth of 10 per cent। Many Kenyans who attended the meeting were very suprised when they heard and saw the stature of Hon Kimunya coupled with his delivery"This is achievable through investments in key sectors including tourism, wholesale and retail, manufacturing, agriculture and agro-based industries, business process outsourcing and financial services."Kenyans turned up in large numbers most keen on investing back home.Leading scholars Prof Eric Masinde Aseka and Prof Paul Tiyambe Zeleza presented papers while Kennesaw State University students presented an emotional play entitled, You Always Go Home.In an effort to counter accusations from opposition leaders that the Kibaki government broke promises, Kimunya declared, "Where we are going is what matters not where we are coming from. We need to focus on the big windscreen in front of us and not the rear view mirror."Those accompanying the minister include Kenyan Ambassador to US Mr Peter Ogego, Nairobi Stock Exchange Chairman Mr Jimnah Mbaru, Chairman of Kenya Private Sector Alliance Mr Lee Karuri and the Managing Director of Kenya Investment Authority Ms Susan Kikwai.Also in the entourage are Dr Achieng Ong’ong’a of Kenya Tourism Board, PS ministry of Planning Dr Edward Sambili, PS ministry of Information and Communication Dr Bitange Ndemo and Investment Secretary, Esther Koimett.BOYCOTT FOR DAILY NATION and STANDARD ON
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Kenyans in diaspora demonstrated their anger and dipleasure with the Barclays Bank Kenya Limited, when the bank and other financial institutions were on a recruitment mission in America. The Banks employees had a very rough time answering questions from angry clients, who felt their money has been lost/stolen by the bank. Unless the bank changes her behavior many vowed to withdraw their money from the Bank and join other Banks with better terms. You can imagine what the poor customer go through if these dollar earners are feeling all this pain. One customer said he lost sh300,000. Meanwhile Equit Bank had a kill with many customer opting to open their account with this new local Bank. One customer was quoted saying that it was better for her money to get lost at home than to an overexploitive foreign Bank.
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KENYANS IN DIASPORA HAVE BEEN CHALLENGED TO INVEST BACK HOMEKennesaw state University this weekend was like a beehive, with over a thousand kenyans in American in attandance of the conference championing and encouranging kenyans to invest back home. At the same time the pro-ODMKenya people who have been making alot of noise on how Kenyans in diaspora have been raising money for their presidential candidates; who have been crisscrossing foreign capitals begging for money and help on how to distabilize their motherland, were met with a rude shock when they witnessed how much audience recieved the Kenyan delegation and the apluase the minister of finance; Hon Amos Kimunya recieved during his presentation.Barcrays Bank had a very rough time in trying to cool down the tempers of many of its clients, who felt let down and duped by the bank. On the other hand, Equity bank had a very recluctive bussiness with Mr Karobia doing a very superve job.
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BOYCOTT FOR DAILY NATION and STANDARD ओंThe campaign is on to force these two malicious news papers stop this evil way of reporting
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Why are the two daily newspapers in kenya anti government? Since the Kibaki administration took power they have been peddling lies and propagada all through. Time has come for the pro-kibaki people in all urban and rural areas to start boycotting the Daily Nation and East African Standard. If these papers they think this is a jok wait and see the compaign we shall launch against their based reporting. They should realize who are their customers first.
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Vision and Mission of Public Service Commission of KenyaVISIONA partner in creating a non - partisan Public Service that offers quality service and holds the nation together for socio-economic growthMISSIONTo avail a steady supply of highly competent human resources for efficient and effective service delivery to the people of KenyaCORE VALUES-Meritocracy -Reliability -Team Spirit-Integrity - Confidentiality -Fairness< Prev[ Back ]
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WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT KENYAAN INSECURE PARTNEROn December 27, 2002, more than five million Kenyans went to the polls to elect Mwai Kibaki as their country's third president -- Kenya's first electoral change of government since independence. The election marked the end of the 24-year presidency of Daniel arap Moi and an opportunity for Kenya to return to its once-vaunted record of political stability and economic growth. Kenyans were elated, their expectations high.Ten months later, President George W. Bush welcomed President Kibaki to Washington for a state visit, the first African head of government he had honored in this way. Kenya has attracted Washington's attention not just because of its regional importance but because of its bold strides toward democracy and its expected role in the U.S.-led war against terrorism. But these developments cannot be taken for granted. Kenya's democratic government is fragile: it lacks centralized leadership, is riven by ethnic factionalism, and is threatened by mounting economic and security challenges. The willingness of Kenyans to assist the United States, meanwhile, is by no means assured -- the result of Washington's heavy-handed policies and its lack of sensitivity to Kenyan domestic politics. If the United States wants to secure Kenya's engagement in the war on terrorism it must develop a more nuanced understanding of Kenya's domestic situation and realize that the process of democratization extends beyond defeating the country's former authoritarian regime.Along with Nigeria and South Africa, Kenya is one of three "anchor states" in sub-Saharan Africa -- countries that are key to the stability of the region because of location and resources. As a result, Kenya has become the platform for U.S. operations in East Africa and the Horn. It houses the largest U.S. embassy on the continent and regional headquarters for a host of U.S. activities and agencies, including security and military assistance, the Agency for International Development, the Department of Agriculture, the Library of Congress, and the Centers for Disease Control. Under the terms of an agreement signed in 1981, the U.S. Navy and Air Force may use the port of Mombasa and Kenya's international airports at Nairobi and Mombasa. These facilities have been important in U.S. naval operations in the western Indian Ocean, and for providing food and aid missions to Somalia, Rwanda, and southern Sudan.THE LONG MARCHPolitically, Kenya has a checkered history. Under its first president, Jomo Kenyatta, the country prospered. Coffee and tea production expanded, a thriving tourist industry was established, and development was spurred by prudent macroeconomic policies, extensive investments in infrastructure, and the expansion of education. From 1963 to 1978, the economy grew at a rate of 5 to 8 percent in every year but two. Although Kenya became a de facto one-party state as early as 1964, Kenyatta's brand of authoritarian rule was relatively benign. The civil service maintained high professional standards, and competitive elections for the National Assembly were held every five years.Kenya's fortunes declined sharply, however, once Daniel arap Moi took power in 1978. If Kenyatta's Kenya had a basic flaw, it was ...

The week that was The issue is not queues, it is rigging I am not about to celebrate last week's exit of queue-voting; I do not think I will do that soon।What I will do now is acknowledge the great service the President rendered Kenyans by persuading the Kanu delegates to scrap the hated mlolongo because hated it was except by the few who <-/benefitted> from it.In my view, the issue in Kenya's electoral process has not been whether or not it is the secret ballot or queue-voting. The bone of contention here is RIGGING.It must be borne in mind from the very outset that the proponents of queue-voting (mlolongoists) vigorously argued that this method would eliminate rigging. Of course, it did not, but that argument itself clearly was acknowledgement enough that there had been rigging in secret balloting to which we are reverting for Party nominations.mlolongoists also argued that queue-voting would be carried out in broad daylight, and therefore, nobody would rig the elections, but, as we all know, secret balloting is not carried out at night and the so-called daylight polls were rigged.Winners What actually happened is that Kenyans saw how elections could be blatantly and flagrantly rigged before their very eyes! A delegate at the two-day Kanu conference said that short queues produced the winners and the longer ones the losers!The Minister for Health, Mr Mwai Kibaki, he of astute aloofness, was so staggered by the blatant abuse of the electoral process in the Kanu polls of 1988 that he snapped, "at least rigging has some intelligence!"The people who rigged the secret ballot polls again rigged the so-called open-air polls or as Nandi <-/Ditrict> Kanu branch chairman, Mr Mark Too, called it, open-air democracy. There was no democracy in the queue polls in some areas; there was open-air democrazy.Of course, I had sworn never ever to stand in this thing called mlolongo, the fact that I queue at the bank, <-/Electricty> House and at the doctor's notwithstanding. I don't queue there to elect my parliamentary or civic representative, but because I do not want to be a public nuisance through bad manners and disrespect for fellow Kenyans by jumping the queue.But that queue-voting went last week is not reason enough that there will be no rigging. Who rigged the elections? We all know that the returning officers during elections are administration officials and when Kenyans presented their views to the Kanu Review Committee, they said that future polls should be handled by an independent commission.The popular view was that elections were rigged by the administration, but the District Commissioners cannot have acted alone. During his contribution to the special Kanu delegates conference last week, Mr Wasike Ndombi, the MP for Lurambi, said that the DC's talked of telephone calls from above.Where could above be? Your guess is as good as mine, but the committee rejected the demand for an independent commission to run the elections and insisted that the provincial administration be deployed for this exercise.Like Thomas, I will touch the scars to believe, I will have to see it to believe. Yes, you have got it right, I am <-/skeptical>; I am apprehensive.Why? Vote-riggers could be at work.XXXX"If you lived in this town, would you be happy if a nigger> (sic) from Birmingham came and settled down?"That is not a black-hating white American deep in the south. No, it is a stalwart of Britain's Conservative Party speaking; it's a Brit! Mr William Galbraith, is outraged that his party has chosen a black candidate to run for the Cheltenham, Gloucestershire seat in the next parliamentary elections.The nigger (sic) he is referring to is a barrister, Mr John Taylor, and Mr Galbraith is swearing that he would rather go to Golgotha than vote for a black man. "I have always been a Tory and no doubt I shall vote for the Tories again, provided they can produce a suitable candidate."Yes, Mr Taylor is not suitable. How can he ? He is a nigger. My blood is boiling and something is swelling up in my throat. I am swept into history and I am reminded of the tourists (those days they were called explorers) and missionaries who surfaced on this continent to civilise (so they claimed) and Christianise the Africans.Burden That was in the 19th century and that was the time the men from Britain descended on the "dark continent" to carry out the white man's burden of teaching Africans that they were third class citizens.This is the 20th Century which is headed for an end and some Brits still seem to believe, like the American Ku Klux Klan, that a black man is equal to two-fifths of a person.This racist bigot, whose black-hating forefathers thought the sun will never set on the British Empire, still believes in the superiority of his white skin. He sees a black man and he thinks a nightmare is just around the corner. Indeed, hell to him is the idea of a black man running in his constituency.The difference between this fellow and some other Brits is that he is brutally honest; at least his 'civilised' peers can hide their contempt for the black people behind rehearsed smiles, the ahs and ohs of wonder and the niceties of small talk.When asked by the news people about this remark, he did not deny he said it; he did not attempt to play it down. Why should he? All he said is that what he said was not meant for public consumption, but, of course, he didn't whisper in the privacy of his bedroom. And, of course, he is saying that though not for public consumption this is what he believes in.There are Brits who are still racist and paternalistic. The week that was Power-brokers: The end of an era has now begun Everybody was talking elections last week.The one thing about elections is that they are all about power and, in the African context especially, power means lording it over others, deciding the destiny of millions of people by the sheer wave of a hand or flick of a pen. This is the lowest common denominator conception of power, especially power in the public domain.In this (mis)perception of power, he who has the power wields it!But the thing is this: The coming General Election should be about the empowerment of the people; the election should be about the right of the people of Kenya to participate in their very governance; the people of Kenya should be consulted on every single idea that is bound to affect them (for better or worse) and their future.It is time for the people to decide their destiny.We have seen decisions made by a caucus of praise-singers, a gang of influence-peddlers and scheming self-seekers who look for every opportunity to sing, dance, clap, and ululate as live marionettes on a string dangling from the fingers of their manipulator.Riggers This and concepts of power-as-domination must become things of the past.It is time for the people of Kenya to use their vote to elect leaders of their choice. The problem in Kenya's electoral politics has been that of vote-cheating - rigging - and its result has been the intolerable imposition of unpopular leaders on the Kenyan people.Election-riggers and rigging must go.We have had a situation where two or three Kanu stalwarts - such as Mr Mark Too and Mr Ezekiel Barng'etuny - have taken it upon themselves to choose leaders for Kenyans. The latter confessed to such a role in Nandi District in the rigged 1988 General Election.It is time for so-called power-brokers to go. And the run-up to the multi-party General Election is the beginning of the end of the era of power-brokers.We have had leaders whose business it has been to saddle Kenyans with one sizzling controversy after another. Some have been stage-managed melodramas. The idea was always to divert attention from the burning issues of the day.It is time to elect thinking and issues-oriented leaders.We have had situations where legitimate dissent was criminalised and some Kanu hawks attempted to impose a uniformity of thought on Kenyans. These were men and women for whom the freedoms of thought, expression and assembly were to exist only in statute books safely gathering dust on forgotten shelves!It is time for the rule of law. We have had a Parliament which specialised in peddling red herrings, never addressed reasonably and soberly any issues brought before it and made empty condemnation and vilification of all and sundry its most important matters of national importance.We have had a Parliament which at no time wanted to show that it was capable of researched and reasoned debate; a House where a quorum was a rumour unless Ministers wanted to vote for a Government motion within the shortest time possible.Let us have an assertive Parliament.Kenyans have come to believe that it is their MPs who are supposed to, for example, <-/tarmack> their roads; that it is MPs who "bring development". But is that the way it should be in every material particular? Let me tell you something; some of us know the salaries of MPs.Development is the work of the Government.If there are certain areas of this country which are better developed - in terms of infrastructure, for example - than others, then the Government must explain the disparity in development. Talking about leaders who talk but don't "do anything" just will not do.Have you heard the refrain "when funds are be available"?Our economy is indeed the single most important issue to be addressed by all and sundry. There are millions of Kenyans who are unemployed. Of course it is entrepreneurs who create jobs, but the political leadership must have a vision of how to expand the economy in order that it generates jobs, improves the welfare of all Kenyans and sees the country industrialise.The economy, Kenyans, the economy.There are people who have mismanaged public funds and, year in, year out, the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, the Auditor-General State Corporations and other watchdogs expose these corrupt deals, but nothing happens.CommissionHave you seen the deplorable state of roads in Kenya's urban areas? Surely, that is not because there are no funds. The Nairobi City Commission, for example, collects an estimated Sh40 million every month from a certain tax with the deceptive name of Service Charge, a description that must be someone's funny idea of a euphemism.Where does Service Charge money go to?The issues are legion and cannot be adequately addressed here, but my view is that Kenyans should vote for the candidates (and parties) who address some of these as raised here.I am talking about democracy and the economy.In my view, the Presidential candidate who lays emphasis on the need to create a strong economy and shows how he intends to do this and one who invests the most premium in the unity and security of Kenyans, is the man or woman Kenyans should vote for.Kenyans should vote for people who will respect or create institutions which guarantee our democracy, promote the empowerment of the people and see Kenya take off in technology and industrial development.But, most important, Kenyan voters must kick all the rascals out! Especially the power-brokers!***Wonders will never cease, they will always increase.The National Council of the Churches of Kenya (NCCK)-facilitated probe committee into the so-called ethnic clashes came out with a report that implicated prominent people in Government, Kanu, Rift Valley-based politicians and the provincial administration.It was roundly condemned by leaders of the political establishment as inciting the public against the Government, against Kanu and trying to isolate the Kalenjin.It was said to have been brought about by a burning desire by the opposition to derail <-/preempt> the work of the Kennedy Kiliku-led Parliamentary select Committee to probe the so-called clashes.W2E012KTHE WAY I SEE IT One bottle too many is leading Kenya to ruin The way I see it is that Kenyans are becoming a sick and sickening alcohol-swilling lot. They have glorified this social beverage and turned it into stuff for a riotous national pastime.That is why I tended to agree with a committed beer-drinker who said that if you want a revolution in Kenya very fast, ban beer- drinking and free sex. It is as if alcohol is the lubricant that oils social relationships and that, without it, society's cogs will grind to a halt. Of course, alcohol can be an acceptable lubricant to a point but not when it is treated as the main one.The penetration of the alcohol culture into the lives of Kenyans is such that the phrase, "let us have one", meaning, "let us go and get drunk", rolls off tongues as easily as "let us have a cup of tea". Of course, there are great differences in the composition of the two liquids because one has the tendency to play games with one's imagination while the other makes it steady.Lots of times, a telephone conversation goes on like this on a Monday afternoon: "You're very lost ... Really? ... I thought you had stopped drinking ... kwani where do you swallow? ... Oh, that joint? Me, I'm still faithful to the old place. It's a crawling distance from my house, you see. ... Today? Of course, we can meet there ... No problem. I have a hundred and I'm sure you have two to return the hand ..."That having been said, the two Kenyans will meet and have what will turn out to be an evening of many drowned bottles. Remember that is happening on a Monday and the following day is a Tuesday and not a public holiday. Remember also that nobody has even discovered a cure for hangovers and that when one is suffering from the over indulgence of the night before, the head tends to behave like a rock by resting lazily on the shoulders and being hostile to thinking.The culture of "let's go and have one" is justified in all sorts of ways. There are those who, like the Latins, say, in vino veritas. That is, in wine there is truth or something related to that. Those who use that argument say that there is no better way of oiling a relationship than in an imbibing session where all hangups are banished by the intoxicating liquids. The tongue is loosened thus the mouth says what is in the heart. The only trouble in Kenya is that we have made that process of loosening tongues with wine too regular and by using too much alcohol for the purpose. For us, it is a never ending process.For men, the guise of being responsible wealth hunters wherever it can be found, be it on rooftops or under the sea, comes in handy when justifying being in the bar and <-/overdrinking>. They posit that it is only in those places that they can make important contacts and therefore clinch mighty goals.Thus you will hear a man tell his wife: "Do you imagine that I shall ever get a plot to build on if I sit in the house and drink tea with you? No, I can only get that plot if I meet my fellow men. My fellow men are normally found in bars and not in the church so swallow I must swallow."More often than not, there are no deals about plots but evenings of frenzied drinking and plots on how to keep women in their supposed place.Fridays offer what is posed as the inescapable excuse for drinking beer with reckless abandon. The day is endearingly called "Members Day", that is, the day to drink beer by the barrel.Come lunch hour on that day and meat is eaten as if there will be no goats tomorrow because, as they say, "you have to build gabions" ready for a major drink later in the evening. After office hours, all throats head for the bar.With stomachs so fortified, those celebrants of the "Members Day" will compete to drink bars dry and then, as they nurse their hangovers the following day, they will happily narrate their exploits. They will do so because there is supposed to be heroism in trying to drink the entire brewery.Thus you will meet a Kenyan, his bloodshot eyes bulging as if they are threatening to jump out of their sockets, his head veins looking as if they will burst any time and generally looking as if he is ready for the mortuary and he will proudly say: "Chief, I swallowed last night. No, it was not last night. I mean until nearly this morning. I swallowed beer and all its children. First it was at Rienye's where we started with a roast and beers. "After harassing so many beers at that place I felt that my stomach was just getting full and nothing in my head was changing. So I moved to Ngop. There I decided to deal with the stuff from the land of Gorbachev, that is Vodka itself. I tell you, I must have swallowed what would knock out a tiger"Another one who, perhaps, cannot hold his drink up to the end, will proudly talk about how he nearly killed himself. After a night of hard drinking, he will say: "I tell you, bwana, last night I swallowed so much that I could not tell my nose from my leg. As a matter of fact, I don't know how I got home. I just found myself in bed and the car parked outside. It must have driven itself home because the last thing I remember is dancing near the jukebox."There are even those who admire other Kenyans who are said to have throats that can resist fire in the name of drinking. I have heard a Kenyan say this: "I tell you that Kenyan is tough. He can swallow a whole bottle of whiskey and still get home to his wife in one piece. I just don't know how he manages to be so tough. I wish I were like him!"If you are known to be a beer-drinker and you excuse yourself too regularly from the bar orgies, friends start to think that you are a traitor who has betrayed the drinking brotherhood. Others will even say: "WM is sat on by his wife these days. He gives his wife all his money together with the payslip so that she can verify that he has not spent any. She is the one who controls what he spends. I really don't know what has come over him."Perhaps this beer-swallowing culture has something to do with the structure of the whole society for we live in one that is pulling down the barriers of permissiveness. We are kind of engendering a society that believes in making merry all round little caring about the side effects of the "laughing gas" that we are using to make ourselves happy.Kenyans are also making themselves too happy with alcohol because it is freely available. Go to the smallest town in the country and you will miss a butchery, a bed to rest your tired ribs on or a regular supply of soap but you will have enough beer to drink. Most rural towns have what can be identified as beer belts - a street dominated by bars.In Nairobi, bars pop up everywhere in the residential estates as if it would be against the law not to let people get drunk.At the same time, the reckless beer-drinking definitely has a lot to do with the fact that meaningful recreation facilities are lacking in community settlements. The drudgery of going home every evening, seeing the same people there and being tortured by a television station that is pain to the eyes and ears makes drinking a very attractive prospect.Community social halls where people used to gather and watch television and theatre particularly in Nairobi's Eastlands no longer serve that purpose. At the same time, now that television is no longer novel and offers nothing really worth talking about and theatre is mistaken by the authorities as a tool for subversion, those halls might not attract the crowds they used to.It is a pity also that as residential estates continue to spring up in the city, no such halls are built any more despite the fact that they could be used for at least indoor games, a diversion from alcohol.The ultimate and painful truth is that it is the most productive generation (25-40 years) that is drowning itself in alcohol and consequently killing itself. A generation of people with cracked livers has never made a nation yet that is the kind of people that the bar culture is creating.We owe ourselves and others the virtue of controlled beer-drinking otherwise we shall all kill ourselves through our own choice.The way I see it then is that having one too many for the road paves the road to ruin. THE WAY I SEE IT Our nation suffers when we propagate tribalism The way I see it is that, any Kenyan who thinks that tribalistic jingoism can redress past real or imaginary ills, is merely wishing destruction upon himself, his people and the nation.That is so because tribalism in all its manifestations eats into the very fabric of society, saps its self-sustaining juices and leaves gangrenous rot - the last of the steps in the collapse of the management of the nation-state.Let tribalism not be confused with ethnicity or the peculiarities of a person's coming from a certain region in Kenya, speaking a specific language, eating specific foods, dressing in a manner peculiar to the tribe, observing taboos prescribed by the tribe and doing whatever else that pertains to the mores of his ethnic group.Cultural traits One did not choose where to be born. I was born on the slopes of Mount Kenya, you were born on the shores of Lake Victoria, another Kenyan was born on the shores of the Indian Ocean, yet another in the heat of the Turkana desert. By virtue of being born in different places without choice, we grow up adopting the cultural traits of the particular ethnic group in which we were born.There is no crime or moral perversion in identifying with one's cultural background. That is why I agree with Chinua Achebe in his book The Trouble with Nigeria that, "Everyone agrees that there are manifestations of tribal culture which we cannot condemn; for example, peculiar habits of dress, food, language, music, etc. In fact many of these manifestations are positive and desirable and confer richness on our national culture."What then is this beast called tribalism? I will go by the definition given by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Unemployment some years ago as quoted by Professor Mbithi in his book Rural Sociology and Rural Development: " ... a person given to tribalism sees all issues in terms of tribalism. Examine that statement against what a certain leader said recently. He was talking from the point of view of an arbiter who cannot dispense fairness since he starts from the premise of the tribe above anything else.The scary scenario which could erupt from that kind of statement is what the Parliamentary Select Committee described as "counteraction," that is, the ethnic group being accused of robbery reacting in its own manner to the threats of being "silenced" and being made to "lie low like an envelope".The group that is being threatened (God forbid that it ever happens) could decide to say: "Why do they think that it is only us that can bleed? They should also know that they have blood and we could make them bleed." W2E013KBOUQUETS & BARBS Kill this booming silence from the fount of policy It is unbelievable that Kanu headquarters has remained silent as (respected) leaders cause an uproar with remarks which, ultimately, are a glorification of tribalism - defined in this context as a crude appeal to tribal sentiment and exclusivity for purposes of denying other groups access to national resources (read land) and business opportunities.The latest to affirm that he remains devoted to those who would like to see this country split into "tribedoms" is Sharif Nassir. He comes in for a barb because, rather than discard his tribal argument, he reiterated it by asking "aliens" in Lamu district to leave the place for the indigenous peoples. But his utterances really are not the issue here.They are only relevant in so far as such statements are being made while Kanu listens and says nothing. The secretary-general Mr Joseph Kamotho, has criticised the statements but not in his capacity as the party spokesman. It is curious, to say the least.Those familiar with the party manifesto will attest to the fact that it does not promote tribalism, nepotism, corruption, etc, etc. Over time, there have been many statements made to reinforce this stand. This consistency has been admirable until now.Senior politicians - some of them known to wield substantial clout - have taken to making statements which are neither well-intentioned criticisms nor feasible solutions to the problems the leaders are complaining about. In other circumstances, these are leaders who would be expected to deliver the party line on matters of policy.But since you and I know that they are not, why is the authority which legitimises their positions of authority and, by extension, validates their statements, not issuing some guidance? A caution maybe, or a clarification of sorts about what we are hearing. Whatever form it takes, an official statement addressing this matter specifically is definitely called for.I need not remind you that people have been punished by the party after being found guilty of relatively minor offences. It does not reflect well on the party to leave itself open to accusations of double-standards, and that is why it suffers a major barb this week.Caning people to a dead end Some security officers come in for a big barb this week for the heinous act which they perpetrated against two Weekly Review reporters last Sunday, at a function organised by the Minister for Energy Mr Nicholas Biwott. At the function, Mr Macharia Gaitho and Mr Julius Bargorett were frog-marched out of Mr Biwott's baraza, locked up in a room, whipped and told to disappear from the vicinity.It beats reason that at this time and age, after so much has been said and written about the role of journalists, when most people - at least the literate and responsible - appreciate the extreme difficulties under which third World journalists operate, such a primitive exhibition of raw brutality against professionals doing their jobs can be encountered.It is just one more incident in a long line of embarrassing instances which contradicts every claim that we may make to being enlightened, tolerant and knowledgeable - in a word, civilised.Past experience and dictates of professionalism - let alone the embarrassment for such an admission - convince me that the two journalists are telling the truth about their hair-raising experience. Minister Biwott and his guards may not have seen the incident, but that does not mean it did not happen.Since there is no plausible explanation for the animalistic behaviour of the guards, I can only guess that they felt the Minister simply did not wish for coverage - highly unlikely for a politician - or that they knew something which they wanted covered up. The question is: What?We may never know and guessing, as you know, is a dangerous game. Suffice it to say that such barbaric incidents form the juicy stuff of which this country is criticised out there. It was an indefensible act, a telling statement on the evolution - or is it retrogression - of our political establishment for which the guilty suffer a giant-sized barb.They hang on despite chaos The bouquet today goes to the doctors, nurses and other health officers who continue to provide services to the sick within a most unsatisfactory and demotivating environment. If you have been up with the news this week, you may be familiar with what I am talking about.Many doctors and specialists at the Kenyatta National Hospital barely practise because most of the expensive, and not so expensive equipment at the hospital is not serviceable. Erratic supplies of standard, inexpensive but vital items like surgical gloves have grounded a number of urgent operations. Sometimes the doctors do not even have paper on which to prescribe drugs. It is a truly appalling situation.But the dimensions of the crisis extend beyond KNH to virtually every public hospital in the country. Shortages of working tools, neglected equipment and infrastructure, shortage of drugs to prescribe, etc. have turned these medical institutions into the most frustrating places to work.But the doctors and their support staff plod on, not because they must, but because they owe it to the patients and to their calling. Having to make do with the barest of resources has made many of them masters at improvisation - conjuring up alternatives out of hopeless situations. The doctors may not save all lives that would otherwise have been saved, but they certainly retrieve many that would have been definite goners.Their selflessness is a bright spot in a continuum of grey and black, a brilliance one hopes will light up the way for many able people who see in life only a chance for themselves to advance, and in people vessels to be exploited. For their sacrifice and diligence, crews in public hospitals walk off with the bouquet.Shut out these cries of war Sudan's leadership comes in for a barb this week for its apparent intention to pursue the military option in resolving the long-running conflict in southern Sudan. A reported string of victories against the seccessionist rebel group - Sudan People's Liberation Movement - led by Colonel John Garang seems to have convinced Gen Omar el-Bashir's group that the uprising in southern Sudan can be crushed.I would like to disabuse the General and his people of the notion that they can discount the SPLA so easily. Any such thinking ignores the lessons of the history of this particular conflict, and of others elsewhere. The southern Sudan problem is more deep-rooted than Gen Bashir may believe.It is not merely a question of the mainly black, animist south rejecting the rule of the fair-skinned Arab-dominated Islamic north. It is a conflict which has to do with the development of a collective national identity, sharing out national resources as equitably as possible and respecting the dignity of all Sudanese.Even if the government troops were able to crush the SPLA, it would be a temporary victory because the campaign will continue. Even if not immediately, then later after the vanquished regroup and draw new strategies. May I remind Gen Bashir that this conflict has been on and off for over 30 years.The Khartoum government would be better advised to drop its jingoistic stance and pursue dialogue. Governments which preceded the present one fell, partly because they were unable to sort out the southern Sudan mess. Unless Gen Bashir wants to go the same way, he should act like an enlightened statesman.Africa has too many leaders who imagine they can solve everything by the barrel of the gun. It is a misguided approach which hurts their countries more than the individuals. the General and his people earn a barb for exposing these traits which will never bring any succour to Africa. BOUQUETS & BARBS Honesty: one little word that makes a difference Mwai Kibaki, that urbane, extremely competent technocrat and agile politician has become famous for his unique contribution to Kenya's development and rare ability to come out on top of tribulations which would deflate lesser men. He is quite fearless too.This week, he comes in for a bouquet for exposing , yet again, another admirable facet of his character, and one which is increasingly difficult to find in many local politicians - honesty.Lately, there have been several press reports, extensively detailing the rot in which many of the local health institutions are mired in. The decrepit New Nyanza General Hospital (also referred to as Russia Hospital) in Kisumu, was singled out for particular censure, in this instance by a write-up in the Kenya Times.In keeping with the tradition that all of you readers should be familiar with by now, a politician, Mr Miruka Owuor, who represents the Nyando constituency, came out strongly against the newspaper which he accused of "alarmist reporting" about the hospital. But in this, as in almost every other instance that the media has been criticised of misreporting, the Press was right.And we have Mr Kibaki to thank for this. Following the report, he toured health facilities in Nyanza Province - including the hospital in question - and verified that the media reports were factual. He said as much.It was true that the hospital was a shambles, it was true that it was teetering on the brink of collapse, true that its mortuary was in a pathetic state. Almost every department and facility within the institution was wanting in some way. That is what had been said in the media and Mr Kibaki verified it.His action is commendable for its own sake. It is also commendable because it brings into extremely sharp focus the more common, dishonest, bumbling attempts at deception and cover-up which we have learnt to expect from most of our politicians. Had Mr Kibaki not gone to Kisumu, Mr Owuor's misleading statement would most probably have won the day.Regrettably for the health of local politics and the development of this country, half-truths and flagrant distortions of truth have virtually been institutionalised. Politicians will deny the existence of a disease epidemic, the shortage of an essential commodity, the incompetence of a public institution, etc, when such an issue is beyond debate.By doing this, they have abetted crime, sabotaged efforts to improve the delivery of services through criticism, and misled multitudes of credulous wananchi who take most of what the leaders say as gospel truth. It has become so prevalent that it has, counter-productively, bred a dangerous cynicism in those who can see through the lies. It is a cynicism which makes them disbelieve the politicians even on the rare times that they may be telling the truth.It is futile to remind them at this point that honesty and justice are inseparable, that they cheat themselves more by misleading the public, and that at this point in time, many people may listen to what they say but only a handful believe. Mr Kibaki is clearly aware of this and he gets a bouquet for not trying to insist that black is white, just because he wants it to be white.Different view over the sackAnother bouquet goes to the handful of people who, publicly or privately, have raised this question: To what extent have workers in the private or public sector been kicked out of their jobs for reasons other than incompetence or gross insubordination? In other words, how often has the threat, or the act of sacking been precipitated by reasons other than the purely professional?I do not <-/>not know, but I think it is a significant question particularly at this time when the debate on the efficiency and effectiveness of parastatal and other public institutions is raging.Often, if not all the time, the public has assumed that when an individual is sacked, particularly from a responsible position, it is because he did not perform competently. He either made an indefensible management decision, stole money or did something else equally unacceptable. W2E014KOf bandits and Ministers who know nothing at all If a number of legislators are to be believed, Kenya is sliding fast into the law of the jungle where highway men are free to rob and murder citizens without the fear of ever being apprehended.This is not an overstatement as banditry in North Eastern, Coast and Rift Valley provinces would testify.Legislators Philip Godana (Moyale) and Ali Bujra (Lamu West) spoke this week as if bandits had seized the initiative from the security forces.They felt that most of the insecurity problems facing the country were self inflicted since the Government had kept the Somali-Kenya border porous, thereby allowing armed soldiers, spies and all types of <-/desperados> from Somalia to find sanctuary here.Mr Godana said that on Wednesday alone, seven Boran women were murdered in cold blood by some Somali refugees from a camp near Moyale town.He said the refugees had heavily outnumbered his constituents and had taken over all social facilities, including grazing lands.Mr Bujra had a similar story to tell about Witu town which had been ransacked on three occasions by heavily armed bandits.An Assistant Minister for Livestock, Mr Peter Nang'ole told the House how more than 600 heavily armed rustlers dressed in military uniform raided a location in Kacheliba and overpowered Administration Policemen based at Kiwawa location before disappearing with more than 1,300 head of cattle.Apart from security issues, nothing else was inspiring or noteworthy about Parliamentary debates this week.Even Question Time which is normally the liveliest period during a sitting appears to have degenerated into a routine affair where nonsense is sometimes given in response to questions of considerable importance to the public.The lethargy is not merely confined to Ministers, a number of whom excel in giving un-researched answers, but also to some MPs who submit controversial questions but for some reasons fail to come to the House to ask them after they are listed in the Order Paper.Some of the questions listed this week touched on sensitive issues of great concern to the people but the Ministers who were supposed to respond either gave scanty information or the questioners after having cold feet decided to duck the session.Half-baked answers given by Ministers or their assistants for that matter, expose them to ridicule on matters they are supposed to have first-hand knowledge of.Take, for instance, the question asked by the Ijara MP, Mr Nasir Arte. He asked an Assistant Minister in the President's Office, Mr David Onyancha if he was aware that 4,000 head of cattle were stolen from Kotile Location, Masalani Division, Garissa District in May this year.Mr Arte said the stolen animals were driven through Garsen bridge which is guarded 24 hours a day by the security forces.Mr Onyancha was obviously poorly briefed by the civil servants and when questioned closely, he appeared to be completely at sea. He looked ambushed, hemmed in and surprised with each question fired at him by Mr Arte and other MPs from North Eastern Province."Do you know that vehicles transporting some of the stolen cattle to Nairobi were given police escort? Do you know the number of livestock so far recovered or should I tell you?" Mr Arte mercilessly bore on.Speaker Jonathan Ng'eno noticed the tricky situation in which Mr Onyancha was and decided o end his agony by ordering him to carry out further investigations into the allegations made by the MPs.Sometimes, Ministers take a bashing for no fault of their own. A civil servant may withhold information or mislead his, Minister n order to protect a malefactor or to <-/coverup> a scandal.In most cases the MPs already know facts surrounding a case before asking questions and through consistent probing sometimes make a Minister look stupid and incompetent.When cornered this week, two Assistant Ministers for Education, Mr Fred Omido and Mr Mathew Karauri abandoned a tradition of defending Ministries regardless of the enormity of accusations levelled against them.Mr Omido stopped short of accusing his Ministry of inefficiency. He frankly admitted that some officers were thoroughly inefficient. He said he was unable to reply to a question because an officer who had promised to deliver a reply directly to him at Parliament failed to turn up.When Mr Karauri was faced with the same dilemma, he said he wished he had the power to discipline some of the unbecoming Ministry officials.However, not all MPs have sharp wits and some after raising fundamental issues, fail to get to the truth through asking pertinent supplementary questions. Others are upstaged by crafty Ministers who reply glibly to questions without ever committing their Ministries into doing anything.Some questions literally become still-born after the MPs fail to ask them once they are put in the Order Paper. This is despite the fact that MPs have the option of instructing their colleagues to raise questions on their behalf. This week several questions went unanswered and the most vivid example was that of the capricious Molo MP, Mr Njenga Mungai.He was to ask the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources if he was aware about people who had moved into Nessuit and Marashioni forests and were now living there.Had the Government then reversed the policy of not allowing people to build houses or settle in gazetted forests, he was to ask.Mr Mungai claimed that these people had enrolled their children in schools formerly used by forest workers and squatters. He was, therefore, to ask if former squatters would be compensated since they had built most of the schools on a Harambee basis. But he never came to the House to ask his question.Despite this seemingly half-hearted interest in Parliamentary proceedings, a resurgence of self-confidence could be detected among the legislators.Buoyed by the total confusion and internecine fighting in the opposition camp, the legislators have been talking with growing confidence that Kanu would win in the coming multi-party elections.Some months ago, when the opposition was wallowing in euphoria and over-confidence, very few MPs could muster the courage to identify themselves with Kanu.But today, even legislators considered liberal such as the Changamwe MP, Mr Kennedy Kiliku and Mr Njenga Mungai have openly reaffirmed their total support for Kanu. The Kibwezi MP, Mrs Agnes Ndetei declared that the majority of Kamba are solidly behind Kanu and President Moi.The feeling is that little is being heard of the DP while FORD is on the way to the sewer.But politics being what it is, Kenyans could be in for a few surprises in the coming months. Kikuyu debate dims hopes on truth ever coming out If one had any illusions about Parliament unearthing and censuring the authors of the recent politically-instigated ethnic clashes mainly in the Rift Valley Province and Western Kenya, then the volatile debate on the Kiliku Report should have dimmed those illusions.Mr Kennedy Kiliku (Changamwe) and his team who spent nearly four months interviewing nearly 850 witnesses and compiling the Report have been subjected to criticism and even insults by those named in the report and their supporters.Listening to the debate on the Report, it would appear that the spirit of multi-partism which, essentially means tolerance and accommodation, is still academic to most legislators who still live in the past.It may be expecting too much to hope the legislators will adopt the Report but the least they can do is to stop disparaging individual Committee Members and personalising the Report.One can only hope that an overwhelming negative vote on the Report will not mean the end of investigations into one of the most diabolical violence ever unleashed on innocent citizens.A number of legislators mentioned adversely in the Report have vehemently denied being involved in any way in the violence without explaining why they and not others were mentioned.Some would even like Kenyans to believe that it was the opposition, mainly FORD and the clergy who instigated and financed the clashes.But if this was true, why didn't the Government arrest even a single opposition figure or clergyman in connection with the violence? Why did the security forces dilly-dally in their endeavour to contain the violence?If the Government was able to arrest the underground Mwakenya Members, it would not have been difficult to swoop on the warriors and their paymasters who were operating above board.One of the Report critics, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka (Deputy Speaker) strenuously defended the advocates of majimboism (federalism) and went ahead to denounce American Congressman Joseph Kennedy II for linking the Government with the clashes.Mr Musyoka quoted the following extracts from Mr Kennedy's submissions to the Congress as some of the utterances which infuriated him most:"Too many Kenyans have died in vain. The Moi Government would like us to think that inter- ethnic rivalry is the cause of this violence but there are unmistakable signs which suggest the violence is part of a carefully orchestrated campaign by the Government to forestall openly-contested elections and to ensure that President Moi continues his strangle-hold on power."The recent interception of a shipment of arrows that were imported by a company owned by President Moi's son is strong indication that the Government aids and abets violence in Kenya."Exclaimed Mr Kalonzo: "What a shame! It is a shame because we know it differently. What untruthfulness!"He submitted that the clashes were the work of international spies and secret agents.Whatever may be surmised of Mr Musyoka's contribution, he portrayed a humanitarian gesture by expressing sympathy with those whose relatives were killed in the clashes or had their property destroyed or looted.The inflammatory and intemperate speech made by an Assistant Minister for Planning and National Development, Mr Noor Abdi Ogle, on majimbo showed what a dim view he had of the Constitution.The Constitution is unequivocal as to the unitary nature of the Kenyan nation. Section 1 of Chapter 1 of the Constitution declares: "Kenya is a sovereign Republic."Mr Ogle's majimbo remarks were reminiscent of the slogans of the leaders of the Shifts secessionist movement of the early sixties.The Assistant Minister began his contribution by declaring that the Report was in tune with the opposition's malicious attempt to tarnish the name of prominent Members of the Government and by extension, the Government itself and turning Kenyan communities against one another.He claimed that the FORD Agip chairman, Mr Oginga Odinga and the DP chairman Mr Mwai Kibaki just went to advise the committee on how to write the Report and implicate persons they thought should be implicated in this serious matter.Mr Ogle then dropped the bombshell: "I was a proponent of majimboism and I still am. Whatever might have been said against majimboism, some of us are able to stand up here and say that we are unrepentant advocates of majimboism."The Assistant Minister, who equates majimbo with democracy, may do well to understand that democracy is a political terminology while majimbo is a secession terminology.Challenged by an Assistant Minister for Tourism and Wildlife, Mr Zachariah Gakunju <-/OM> that majimbo meant disintegration of Kenya as a unitary state, Mr Ogle retorted: "Some of us tend to cling to the old illusion, that they have the exclusive rights of opinion in this country."Even at this moment in time, Shariff Nassir (Mombasa Kanu Chairman) does not believe in multi-partism and believes that the repeal of Section 2 (a) of the Constitution is solely to blame for the clashes.Mr Nassir told the House this week that multi-partism was introduced rather abruptly to a people ill-prepared for it. All <-_what><+_that> the people can do now is to fight one another over political parties, he said.Turning to his pet subject of a bloodbath, Mr Nassir said: "I have never seen such a dangerous Report which could make Kenyans to spill blood as this Kiliku Report."An Assistant Minister for Livestock Development, Mr Reuben Chesire, said Parliament should not only reject the Report but should order the destruction of all copies of the document. W2E015KTopical Commentaries Try this Hong Kong deal If you have access to cattle carcasses, you may be able to make some extra money.According to reports landing on my desk, a Hong Kong businessman, K.K. Poon is willing to buy all the cattle gallstones you can supply. The gallstones the businessman is after are found inside the gall bladder (a small sac attached to the liver) and are needed for research projects.His latest quotation is sterling 5.70 (about Shs 249) per gramme paid on any international currency!The reason Mr Poon is willing to pay such a high price is that for over 2000 years, gallstones have been used as material for producing Chinese medicine for controlling fever with similar effects of antibiotics.Mr Poon who says they have been buying gallstones throughout the world for more than 40 years cautions the would be exporters that only a small percentage of gall bladders actually contain stones, so you need to open each bladder and check.According to the release, the stones are usually golden brown in colour and clay-like in appearance. In size, they can vary from a small bird's egg to a hen's egg.You need to handle the stones gently as they break easily, and they are worth more when they are unbroken. Remove the stones and let them drain dry. This should be done in a freezy spot, but out of direct sun - which can cause the stones to turn black making them less valuable.He says don't put the stones in contact with cotton wool or tissue paper to dry them while they are still wet, or else the fibres will stick to the stones and reduce the value.When dry the stones should be tightly packed for posting. Ideally, they should be in a plastic bag, inside a small tin lined with cotton wool or tissue paper. The idea is to stop the stones from being crushed and from rattling around and being broken.Send as little as one ounce (28.35 grammes) at a time. Tape up the box and post by registered airmail and make sure your name and address are clearly on the package - so that you can receive payment for the stones.Mr Poon says that on receipt of a package all the packing and any valueless material are removed. Just the gallstones are weighed.Prices of stones have been pretty stable for the past few years, according to the businessman, but if prices should have increased he will pay more.<-_Payments><+_Payment> is made in American dollar bank drafts or any other currency which the sender specifies. Well, if you think you are in business send the gallstones or write for more information to K.K. Poon, P.O. Box 71460, Kowloon Central Post Office, Hong Kong.Topical Commentaries Highly priced bridegrooms At a recent church sponsored seminar, it was reported that many male Kenyans are turning away from the marriage institution particularly where weddings are demanded. Reason, because of the brideprice. My own research also found that Kisii ladies have become among the most expensive due to the brideprice, tag placed on them by their parents.Well, I have some tips which may be useful to young Kenyans who still have faith in the institution and who may not have identified their potential brides. I would not like to disappoint brides already promised a wedding ring.Try South Korea. Here they will not pay brideprice instead they will be paid bridegroom price. Although this practice is in several other countries in Asia, South Korea could be likened to Kisii but in a different sense. In South Korea the bridegroom price has gone up so much that the value of an average dowry paid to the male is about Shs 2,000,000 in addition to gifts to the man's parents of almost the same amount.Ladies, do not hate me for this, in fact this advice is meant to help you. You can use this for a serious pep talk with your parents pointing out that if they do not review their brideprice downwards, you may stick at their homes while Kenyan males shop in South Korea. A recent report by AFP <-_attest><+_attests> to my findings.An increasing number of South Korean brides are facing broken marriages or cruel treatment from their husbands and mothers-in-law for not bringing dowries worth tens of thousands of dollars.Of the estimated 300,000 marriages a year here, one in three ends with the bride leaving or chased out by her bridegroom, often over the dowry issue.The problem was raised at a recent seminar organized by the Federation of Feminine Movement Associations. Topical Commentaries Who needs this noisy music? MATATUs will never cease to upset Kibao and it is not because - as some people have maliciously alleged - he cannot afford to own one. No, he has learnt to endure pecuniary malnutrition as an unappreciated hack.It is just whatever disciplinary action is taken against them, they revert to their bad old ways as soon as one turns <-_his><+_one's> back.Remember the vigorous campaign to get rid of cacophonous and <-/distructive> music from matatus. It was conducted by J.J. Kamotho and other party stalwarts reinforced by uncompromising APs and youthwingers, in the aftermath of Muoroto.The aim was to get rid of public airing of `subversive' music which was undermining party unity and <-/pastriotism>. Apparently the campaign was a success since the party cadre has turned away from that task to other <_/endevours> of political activism.But as soon as their backs were turned the music came back. Whether the `subversion' has been purged is another matter, but the noise is certainly there. You only have to be in a lane alongside a matatu and your ears go buzzing with drumming and other discordant sounds.Kibao does not really mind if some people want to puncture their eardrums. It is said there are people who would not board a matatu that does not have a cassette player blazing away.It is the result of such distraction that he abhors. For one, the matatu driver is invariably a participant in the music show and gives it more attention than the road. The result is the rising statistics of death on the road.For another, the music is still being used to lure schoolgirls to unknown destinations during the idle hours of the day when the commuter trade has slackened off.If Kibao was to be asked, the playing of music in matatus is still as great a menace to society as it was when the `subversive' discs were doing the rounds. Topical Commentaries Communicating with the menu Pressure of work nearly got me into trouble yesterday. It was perhaps due to the sixth sense or the value I sometimes attach to my life that saved me.The pressure of deadlines often lead journalists to feed on junk food, a factor that employers should look into seriously and work out some form of compensation.So there I was yesterday, determined to improve on my junk diet and accordingly rushed to some middle class restaurant in Nairobi for a quick lunch. One advantage about middle class <-_restaurant><+_restaurants> is that one can communicate with the menu. But in the high class hotels, beef from Dagoretti market assumes, often a French name once it has passed through the hands of a chef. In one occasion I almost fed on snails thinking it was spinach.So to save time consumed making out whether one is likely to feed on snails and spinach, I went to one of the restaurants situated on University Way where it is said as it is on the menu.And here the idea of goat ribs, chicken legs, irio and genuine spinach all for me in one dish at less than 70 shillings was promisingly fulfilling and it was <-/apetizing> until my <-_meals><+_meal> was served within five minutes. I loved the efficiency. I had hardly picked up my fork and the rest than I realised that the goat meat had <+_a> foul smell . The cook (in these restaurants they don't employ chefs, they employ cooks) who prepared the meal and the waiter who served me must have had some flu which comes with <+_a> blocked nose to have failed to realise that they were serving me with bad meat with a strong foul smell.Luckily another waiter concurred with me that the meat was bad but that was not much of luck as I was asked, a question similar to the ones I have been asked in few occasions in bars when I am served with stale beer, "what do you want us to do?"If I may digress a little, I have quit drinking cold beer in some places having learnt that their attendants fill up empty bottles with the drinks from <-_bottle><+_bottles> which could not be fully drained by boozers. In so doing they make double profits. That is by selling what has already been paid for though not all drained.So when this question was addressed to me yesterday, I gave my model answer. You see, experience, as they say is a good teacher and from my experience I know what the follow up questions and contentions would be.I told them to give me the bill and I paid then advised them to inform their cook that if they were dealing with some other person, hell would have broken <-/lose>, "you see you happen to be dealing with a gentleman", for which the two waiters I was then addressing heaved a sigh of relief and gave me the chorus "Thank you thank you, thank you."In some bars, the attendants would even insist that an obviously stale beer is not stale and I have come to the decision that in the absence of active consumer protection, it is better to ignore what one spent buying a meal or beer than to consume bad food and end up with some food poisoning problem. Topical Commentaries Hoarders are at it again Kenya's greedy shopkeepers and hawkers, notably in Nairobi, are at it yet again; and one wonders why they are apparently hoarding certain brands of maizemeal and sugar, trying to blame it on the ghostly distributors.Making spot-checks in parts of the city the other day Kibao and his "gang of four" hawk- eyed fellow reporters could overhear housewives complaining bitterly, saying that even safety matches were now selling at 25-30 per box of less than 40 sticks.Many of the Eastlands shopkeepers told newsmen that they were hoarding nothing, claiming that probably the distributors were going to hike prices "since Kenya was becoming a lovelier land of price decontrols".Asked why she was allegedly "reserving" packets of sugar under the counter for a select few of her customers, an arrogant woman told newsmen in the Buru Buru area: "They are my regular customers and I'm not going to be intimidated by yourselves or by any daughter of another "B". And by the way if you try to take any pictures here, you'll go back to wherever you came minus those shining teeth - and please get out of my shop ...!"An Asian grocer in another part of the city was better behaved for he told my colleague Charlie: "Ever heard of mini-budgets? The only money you fellows have in abundant circulation nowadays is for booze and vice. How can I tell you're not another thug, yourself? Two of your friends came in shortly after we opened for business, emptied that cash box, spat on my son, floored me at my advancing age, and just walked away as if this was their Dad's shop"."Have you reported to the nearest police post?" The trader was asked by Charlie and he replied: "No. I don't have all that time required for being quizzed, making statements and ..." Asked for comment on the on-going hoarding, a minor government functionary told our metro-editor: "They're merely creating artificial shortages but we'll catch up with some of them". W2E016KReflections Women leaders don't speak for women Were I to choose between Grace Akinyi Ogot the writer and Honourable Grace Ogot the politician, I would easily go for Lady Ogot the writer and country woman. As a writer she understood her world and spoke for many - men and women - she had a social purpose and championed a cause.Her sympathies, for example, in Land Without Thunder, one of her books, were with the oppressed woman., Oganda who must be sacrificed for the whims of male gods to bring rain to a dying generation. The decision to sacrifice this young woman was made by a group of elders - all men.The traditional world in which Lady Ogot grew up is a bastion of male chauvinism, a world that denied women the right to independence, excellence and respect. It is a world in which men hold the knife and the pumpkin, as they controlled the destiny of women. It is a world past and a world present.Such was the context that gave Dr Maria Nzoma's thesis credibility, and such is the world former Kenya Times editor, Philip Ochieng, <-/hiped> on. It is world of gender imbalance so much under scrutiny today in most parts of the world.Why should our place be an exception? Why should anyone feel offended when such critical issues are raised? Nzomo and Ochieng are only being true to forces sweeping humanity - forces of freedom, independence and fair play.They are questioning, as many have, why more than half the human race should live under male subjection - alienated from policies and decisions.If women were to be equal partners in the development of humanity and our own nation, then something should be done to address the status quo.Although in our own time much has changed in gender relations and women are influential citizens they are influential only behind the scenes.As admitted recently by leaders of Maendeleo ya Wanwake in their belated response to what they call unprovoked scheme to discredit women leadership, women are inconspicuous.They say the woman partner plays a major advisory role behind the scenes. By their own confession, these leaders subscribe to the notion that women should rather be seen but not heard. They are enveloped and engulfed by men bred in the old conservative style at loggerheads with modernity.These are the men who will stand in a public rally and shamelessly say: ""We will rape the women." Men of confidence who will say of their critics: "(They) have grouped like women rejected by men and have been going to Chester House like prostitutes trying to attract men clients." And of leaders who will say: Kuna mama mmoja, and whimper righteously that women's place is in the kitchen.When men in leadership talk thus, it undermines women's confidence.It will be noted that the number of women in <-/consipicuous> leadership positions is dismal compared to their population. They are <-/unvenly> represented everywhere - even in crime. The people who claim to represent the women are worlds apart. They are so lonely up there to effectively speak, leave alone represent, the ordinary woman down here.Life at Honourable Ogot's Reinsurance Plaza is so different that she cannot fully relate to the brutalised and hard-working village woman from Kilome. She cannot credibly speak for the humble, labouring woman from Chepalungu.Once they arrive up there, they only occasionally talk about the ordinary voters to purge their own conscience. The horde of villagers who fail after seeking audiences with them for months on end, tell this story even much better. By her own defence, Hon Ogot says she had been <-/fighing> for women to get house allowances and many other things.She has also challenged women in business and executive positions to resign and contest parliamentary seats. She also wants at least four seats preserved for women MPs. According to her Parliament seems to be the ultimate.But why only four when women are more than half the voting population? Why should the seats be preserved? Can't women stand up and fight for them? And Hon Ogot says the seats should be in major urban areas. Why not in rural areas where women are the majority and where their status is most pathetic?The legislator says she proposed this in 1988 and was rudely opposed by men. With this kind of resistance, Ogot should begin to see that there is something wrong with gender relations.The former MP for Karachuonyo had more than enough of this male arrogance during her days as a Member of Parliament. The issues were not that of effective representation but that of how a woman can represent Karachuonyo - a place with a high concentration of educated and intelligent men. Sexism featured prominently as Okiki Amayo's supporters ridiculed Asiyo's leadership, not on the basis of ability, but merely on her being a woman. Asiyo was herself the most able leader that place had seen since the days of the late Omolo Agar.On account of this gender persecution women leaders should be at the forefront of basic social education - perhaps the only way of curing this male arrogance so trendy in patrilineal societies.In their evasive reply to critics published by another paper the women leaders missed the grasp of the argument. In fact the people they refer to as critics are only asking them to sensitise society to this retrograde gender imbalance.The people and the Press accused of undermining women leadership are simply asking those at the top to use their political voices to speak for the abused and brutalised women.Hon Ogot, instead of addressing the issue affecting women sees the Press as a gang of hired men to discredit women's leadership. She says women are gagged when only the other day a Nation reporter gave the women at the top a chance to respond to Nzomo and Ochieng. They were all found to be "not available for comment". Mrs Ndetei was also not available for comment. But she will be available for votes.Now, do women want to be silent when they have a chance to talk, to defend their voters and prepare for greater stakes in national leadership? How will the public know them if they don't want to talk about such weighty issues?Our own research <-_indicate><+_indicates> that Hon Ogot, Onsando, Ojiambo and other women in leadership are making a political response to a valid comment on a social problem.Let them look around and appreciate the sexist coloration of the world about them. About three quarters of Christians are women and it is their tithes that support the church leadership. Then, shouldn't it strike them as strange that nearly all church leaders are men, that it is men giving the Sunday sermon while women sit and nod.The Church of England (Anglican) has for a long time resisted proposals that women should become priests. Conservative Christians have threatened to break away should women be allowed near the altar.The church, a microcosm of our own society, is a bastion of male chauvinism. The Bible and the manner of discourse in the church reflect life as understood by men: "Our Father who art in Heaven". The idea that only males can represent Christ is a man's conception of reality.In our place where the church is so influential in the lives of people, it should be strange that its leadership alienates women.In a rather sober speech, Mrs Margaret Githinji, the first and the only women Permanent Secretary, had this to say to an assembly of women."We all know that women have always occupied a central role in the African societies as home-makers, mothers, wives, agricultural producers ..."The conventional idea of the woman as the good housewife, loving mother, the submissive feminine, the beauty queen, and such other stereotypes, still haunt us.Then, her greatest ambition was to be a good mother to her children, a good wife to her husband, a good in-law to her kinspeople and a beast of burden for the husband's clan.That kind of attitude comments adversely on why only few women had the advantage of early education.The few that had an education could have been daughters of colonial civil servants, church leaders and converts. A study of the family backgrounds of these few women at the top will reveal their missionary or colonial connections. They are the lucky few to have broken from conservatism of keeping the women in the kitchen.Meanwhile, traditionalists trained their daughters in the ancestral way. The traditionalists were many and influential and that is why there is still a bulwark of gender imbalance in all our institutions.The woman did not have as much chance and opportunity as her brothers. Nature and nurture conspired to condition the woman's ambition only to becoming an excellent cook. Reflections Mayor Mwangi restoring city sanity Four months into representative leadership at the City Hall, something flattering can be said of the City Council. Sanity and accountability are returning to a place that had suffered gross neglect because the appointed caretakers were not answerable to the millions of rate payers enclosed by garbage and dancing along foot-deep potholes.There is, so to speak, some signs that the current government at City Hall cares about the welfare of service charge payers. There are signs that somebody is trying to become accountable to the people who pay to maintain the city government.But this is not to say that the legacy of the late commissions is as good as forgotten. For it is hardly logical to expect the four-month-old multi-party broom to sweep the city clean of the corruption, insensitivity, laxity, incompetence and bureaucratic abuse it suffered under the management of hand-picked and hen-picked commissioners.The memory of the terrifying potholes on city roads is still sharp, and the city government must work round the clock to earn the credibility long lost. It is true something has been done and is being done to make Nairobi habitable. In Eastleigh, for example, residents can say, they have been given some attention. That, however, is not enough because the new reality demands nothing short of thoroughness ands accountability from its elected councillors. They were given the mandate to serve the people, and they have to do so diligently.It is understandable if the David Kongo team - the immediate casualties of multi-partyism - were reluctant to clean the city, repair roads, protect public land, and ensure the city was <-/spick and span> because they were not elected by the people, and therefore did not owe their positions to the city residents. The commissioners could get away with laxity and recklessness but Mayor Steve Mwangi's team is thoroughly on the spot. Steve Mwangi cannot afford to be complacent because he is surrounded by baying dogs, looking for one false step to justify another dictatorship by selected commissioners. Because of this precarious position, Mwangi should remember that although they have started serving the people, they have not done enough to meet the expectations of city residents.For example, there is no good reason why rate payers should pay for non-existent dustbins. If the City Council must continue to demand Sh 10 for dustbins, the City Hall should ensure that every house with a water meter has a dustbin, otherwise paying monthly bills for a dead service amounts to stealing by pretence - stealing from the public.In this age which is supposed to be characterised by transparency, Nairobi residents will not condone fraud by the maiden city government. The City Hall must be able to tell the people how the service charge is spent.It is true potholes are being sealed in a number of streets, an the at City Council employees from the Cleansing Department can be seen sweeping at sundown, but the City Hall still needs to ensure that street lights are working. W2E017KThe Week That Was With friends such as these, Kanu doesn't need enemies! Sometime in October last year, there came the proponents of the retrograde monster of majimboism. I said in this column that these Rift valley-based MPs were the greatest threat to Kenya's security.These latter-day campaigners for the now-defunct Kadu's federalist politics were obviously opposed to the unitarist Kanu principles which the founding fathers conceived of Kenya.A year later, there have come their very close cousins; an extremely dangerous breed who are preaching the reprehensible politics of isolationism. These isolationists were on the hustings last weekend.Several so-called Kanu stalwarts, among them Prof George Saitoti, yes, he is the Vice-President, were telling the Luo and the Kikuyu that they would be isolated should they not vote for Kanu and the party forms the next government.Mr Clement Gachanja, the newly-arrived shoot-from-the-mouth Kanu hawk and self-proclaimed spokesman of the Kikuyu, was telling the people of Nairobi that should they vote for Kanu, he will make sure that they get kitu kidogo (something small)Elected Who? Gachanja?Shariff Nassir - he who thinks there is only one tribe in America - was in Wajir telling the people that should they vote for Kanu in the forthcoming polls, he will ensure that one of the elected representatives gets a ministerial post.Who? Nassir!?Let me tell you something; these fellows, in their zest and zeal, fever and fervour to campaign for President Moi and Kanu are messing up.I have previously - twice, in fact - argued in these columns that the Kanu leadership is vindictive. Nobody has challenged me on that score and now that we have isolationists, people who are saying vote for Kanu or else, then I have been proved right.Isolationists are advocates of revenge, but I have warned in this column (Dec 22, 1991) that any leader who engages in the politics of revenge courts disaster. History is full of examples of governments which embarked on a course of revenge and ended disastrously.Any government which stigmatises its own people courts its own downfall. What is going to happen is that certain communities will be identified - blacklisted is a better word - as anti-Kanu. It will not matter that communities are made up of individuals, and the best way to treat individuals is to understand, as the age-old adage goes, that different folks have different views.What we are being warned about by the cousins of majimboists is that there will be witch-hunting after elections by Kanu operatives should the party form the next government. What we are being told here is that voting for Kanu will be equal to loving one's country, and voting for the opposition is a show of lack of patriotism.I am reminded of Arthur Miller's splendid play, The Crucible, about the Salem witch-hunts in Massachusetts, USA, but which actually captures vividly the fiasco and terror that was the search for communists (the reds) in the United States in the 1950s by Joseph MacCarthy.In the Salem witch-hunts, anybody could just brand anybody, including very upright and decent people, a witch and subject them to all sorts of torture, mental anguish and condemnation. The same applied to MacCarthy's hunt for communists.That is what the isolationists want. Perhaps, it is time to question the patriotism of these people. I think a patriot upholds the constitution of his or her country. Our constitution clearly says that one shall not be discriminated against on account of their religion, tribe, race or political beliefs.Who swears on the Bible to uphold and protect the Constitution? These selfsame isolationalists. Did the President not warn against the politics of tribe and tribalism, of tribal hatred and disunity on Moi Day? He did. But when these isolationists took to the stumps to campaign for him and Kanu, they forgot about that.Somebody is introducing the reprehensible politics of the winner takes it all and the loser forsakes everything. We are being told that this is what the coming election will be all about. That is a recipe for disaster. That is rather like telling the losers to secede. President Moi's clarion call, as was the late President Kenyatta's, has been the unity of Kenya.Kenyans must reject majimboists and their cousins, the isolationists. They are a danger to the security of this country. The next government must not engage on a course of revenge; it must respect the freedom of choice. Elections are about choice, not coercion.Available By the way, are Mr Gachanja and Mr Nassir suggesting that these days they have a say in choosing the Cabinet or allocating resources to certain regions? I thought it is the prerogative of the President to choose his Cabinet and for the Government to make funds available to district development committees, which in turn carry out development projects.I am categorical: With friends such as these, President Moi and Kanu do not need enemies***You know Mr Francis Lekolool? He is a very important man. He is the Provincial Commissioner for Western Province.He is the Provincial Commissioner who was annoyed last December with guests at a Jamhuri Day party in Kakamega who, after wining and dining rather sumptuously, refused to flash the one-finger Kanu salute or cheer the party loudly.He is the PC who wondered why people who had eaten what he called Kanu food - possibly chicken was served - were reluctant to cheer the jogoo (cockerel), Kanu's symbol.Mr Lekolol is the PC who was photographed wearing a Kanu cap at the party's Delegates Conference at Kasarani's Moi International Sports Centre recently.This PC was last week telling civil servants in Western Province to vote for Kanu. He wondered aloud how the civil servants were not supporting Kanu yet, he said, the opposition had already lost.One wonders why he would be urging the civil servants to vote for Kanu when its is obvious that Kanu has won the election. One wonders why he would be so concerned about the fact the servants are backing the losing horse.However, given the fact that the provincial administration has been telling civil servants to either vote for Kanu or face the sack, then it is opportune to ask a fundamental question:If democracy is about choice, then why are civil servants being denied their fundamental right of choosing their leaders? Why are they being coerced? Are they not citizens?Are civil servants paid by Kanu or are they paid by the tax-payer? That is a rhetorical question, but it is pertinent and the answer is that civil servants are paid by the tax-payer and tax-payers are not just Kanu members. Tax-payers are Kenyans and members of the opposition are also Kenyans who pay tax.Civil servants must be left alone to make their choices. To force them to vote for Kanu is to rig the elections. The elections cannot be free and fair when the imposing posture of the PC (serikali to most rural folk) tells people who they should vote for.This is using the State machinery to campaign for Kanu and that amounts to pre-election rigging.Quick quip: After what I saw on television about October 20 (Kenyatta Day) celebrations, I am convinced we turned this great day on our calendar into a campaign day for Kanu. The events, apart from the President's speech, had nothing to do with tribute to the men of character, commitment and integrity who fought for the independence of this country. What a shame! The week that was Here's when to waste not and want not When it comes to scandals some are just simply monstrous.According to reports last week, more than 50,000 bags of skimmed milk powder supplied to Kenya by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is to be disposed of after public health officials declared the stock unfit for human consumption!The milk, which was reported to have been given to Kenya during the 1982 drought, amounts to a <-/collosal> 1.16 million kilogrammes and was left to go to waste so it can now only be sold for non-food purposes.What went wrong?If it is that the country recovered from the drought before it could exhaust the supply of milk from the WFP, surely the authorities would still have made arrangements to have the milk put to better use.Why this loss of food? How can we run to Western capitals to beg for food in time of adversity and when fortunes change and we have food aplenty, turn round and with untold arrogance forget that we might need help in the not so distant future!We all know, for example, that there are hundreds of social and charity workers in this country who scrimp and save just to get enough to feed the destitute and orphaned children in children's homes and they would have loved to lay their hands on this milk.In the spirit of being mindful of the welfare of our brethren, we would have given this milk free of charge to these children's homes or sold it to them - if we absolutely had to and we did not because it was for free - for a minimal charge. As it is, we will wait for <-/Chrismastide> to give them palty gifts!Other people, acting on humanitarian grounds, gave us millions of kilogrammes of milk but we did not even think of giving it to the poor of the sprawling Mathare slums in Nairobi or any where else for that matter, because even when it is a time of plenty, there are those among us who still go hungry. That is a fact of life.Part of the reason why Africa, which decades ago could have fed the world, is forever on the brink of hunger and famines is that when there was plenty of food, plans for the security of it were never made.That is what has led Kenya into this extremely embarrassing scandal over this relief milk. If we are hit by adversity again, shall we be confident enough to ask WFP to give us milk?As the saying goes, waste not, want not.We should <-_hung><+_hang> our heads in shame?***Lucky are those people whose piece of land was arbitrarily sold, but who got it back when the Chief Justice, Justice A.W. Hancox reversed the sale and accused a magistrate of actively participating in "fraud and conspiracy to strip unsuspecting owners of their property."I recall vividly that day of the national fund-raiser for the disabled when after the national anthem, a man in a wheel chair started screaming at the top of his voice. "" (help me father of the nation, help me father of the nation, the rich are grabbing my piece of land).Similar I also recall September 3 last year when at Pentecostal Church, Valley Road, Nairobi, one Mr Wamusala tried to present a letter to the President.In a conversation with him last week, he told me that it was about a piece of land which a rich man in Kakamega has somehow "taken away from the family."His problem, he told me, was eventually referred to the Nairobi Provincial Commissioner, but to this date the Kakamega businessman still lays claim to the family land and is threatening to evict the family. I have dealt with similar problems this month.It is always the same. A poor family loses its parcel of land through complicated legal processes they do not understand to the influential, the moneyed and propertied. For the poor folk, legal processes are expensive and, most important, they do not know how to go about them and they end up losing their property. In courts, the cases drag on for years and they lose time and money.These poor people normally resort to the Press to <-/publice> these cases but little comes out of this also and that is why all too often there are people arming themselves with sheaves of paper and seeking every opportunity to catch the President's attention.W2E018KThe way I see it Some fund-raising events are a get-rich-quick ruse The way I see it, very soon some people will invite us to Harambee meetings to raise funds to pay bills for their sick pets.Anything goes in this country where money is such a loved but scarce commodity so do not get surprised when one day you get a card saying, "Mr and Mrs W.M. invite you to a Harambee meeting to raise money for the hospital bill of their cat, Tabby, who has been indisposed. Your generous donation will be highly appreciated".I say that because although Harambee has been the dynamo that has moved the real people's projects in this country, it has been hijacked by individuals who see it as a well from which to draw money without trying too hard. It has been abused and has now degenerated into as irritating an affair as having a finger being poked into your eyes.Most Kenyans never hesitate to give generously to help build hospitals, schools, dispensaries and other amenities that better their lives. They are keen to help send students abroad, to pay hospital bills for those who have incurred them yet cannot raise the required money. They are indeed ready to raise money to send patients abroad for treatment.It is that spirit of giving for worthy causes until it pains that some Kenyans who see nothing else in front of their eyes except money flowing from other people's into their own are exploiting and thus turning Harambee into a personal mercantile system.I witnessed one of such <-_insult><+_insults> to Harambee recently. The occasion was called itega, which I understand is an occasion to "greet" a new-born baby with gifts. It is nothing new in many Kenyan communities as it was the occasion when women used to go and "spit" blessings on the chest of the infant wishing it a prosperous life. We read in the Bible of Wise Men going to visit baby Jesus with gifts. In traditional Kenyan societies such visitors would carry gifts that were available and appropriate for that age.As economies changed and the traditional systems were now inundated with commercial goods, so did the gifts for infants change. Visitors started going to the "spitting" sessions with baby soap, formula foods, nappies, sugar, tea leaves and such other commodities. The practice still holds as it is good manners to welcome a baby into this world of troubles with a reassuring gift. That is as it should be, but the occasion has now been hijacked by the money-hungry.In its sane form, normally one is not invited to an itega. One goes to the occasion because one knows the parents of the child and wants to share in their joy. Not any more with the modern version modelled on Harambee.Now you get an invitation through a neatly printed card. When you receive that card, you should know that you are not being invited to join in the joy of welcoming a child into this world. Know that when you accept such an invitation, you have committed yourself to having money milked out of you.I say milked because once you get where the occasion is, you will find that there is a guest of honour and that his work there is not make nice speeches about the bright future he hopes the baby will have. His work is to talk money out of your pocket by every possible means including heaping praises on you as the "great son-of-so-and-so who works in this and that big company".Wallets He will have been chosen as a guest of honour because he has money and will give some of it on that occasion, and because he has the ability to coax others into parting with whatever they have in their wallets and purses.The guest of honour did not spare us on that occasion when I went to a itega that I had been invited to. That is why the occasion was held in a hall and not in the house of the parents who had brought forth yet another Kenyan into the world. You see, it had to be a big room so that as many wallet-owners could be accommodated.There was a live band, too, not just to entertain guests but to also soften them enough so that they could see sense in emptying their purses to "greet" the new child.Entry into the hall was subject to one condition: That you wear a flower that cost Sh30 on your lapel. If you ask me, I could just have picked up that flower for nothing by the roadside, but then this was an occasion to "spit" blessings on the baby and saliva must be made as expensive as possible. Hence the highly priced flower.On paying that fee for a flower at the "toll station", we entered the hall and were shown to our seats. Then followed what was supposed to be a meal - stringy pieces of meat thrown around in a plate with scattered grains. I guessed that was supposed to soften us, but I was not impressed.No sooner had we "fed" than the master of ceremonies took up the microphone and after praising the couple for bringing into this world a "beautiful baby" - handed over the function to the guest of honour. The man did not waste time. He went ahead and announced: "My role here is very simple. It just involves raising something little to buy nappies for the beautiful baby."The man did not mean what he said because something small ended up being enough money to buy a used car, and let nobody tell me that an infant needs it. That much was raised through sweet talk, trickery, false pretences and playing on the vanity of the guests. People were "fined" by the guest of honour for being bald, wearing spectacles, being short, having wives, being bachelors and such other "crimes" that were invented so that money could be raised in the name of itega.I am sure that when the parents of the baby retired home after the event, they must have smiled all the way to bed and to the bank the following day. The dream of buying those acres at Ngong must have then become a reality by raising money through false pretences.They must have congratulated themselves not only on getting a child but also on duping other Kenyans into pouring out their wallets to welcome it. It is indeed saddening that such a couple would have a sound sleep, their conscience undisturbed by the fact that they have received money dishonestly.That to me is sheer greed, the same avarice that is manifest in the so-called pre-wedding parties. In reality, they are not parties but pre-wedding Harambees.They are Harambees because, like that itega, there is a guest of honour whose primary purpose is to coax the guests into giving their last cent for the simple cause of a man getting a wife. Let nobody tell me that they raise that money because the bridegroom cannot pay for his dowry.Even if the man could not raise the dowry, he is not like that patient who has missed money to pay for his hospital bills. Marriage is not an incidental and accidental affair so even if someone does not have enough resources, then he should not make an attempt to marry at all and in the process call a Harambee for it.Pre-wedding Most of these pre-wedding parties are called to raise money for other things and not to take care of wedding expenses. The amount of money normally raised - again through trickery and <-_extortions><+_extortion> clothed in seemingly innocent calls to "escort" the bride and bridegroom to a happy marriage - is normally over and above what the wedding finally costs and therefore smells of acrid mercantilism.It is so because, come the wedding day and the same people who were invited to the pre-wedding party and forced by various means to contribute money will be expected to provide cars and other money-costing services for free! They will also be expected to come loaded with mountains of gifts for the wedding couple.Some of those gifts include what is put in those envelopes that are generously passed around to be deposited at the table where a prominently displayed sign announces "GIFTS HERE!"The way I see it then is that it is obscene to turn Harambee into a thing to raise money for personal gain. It is unforgivable to celebrate that you raised Sh100,000 for a wedding when you need only SH20,000. You need to have no conscience at all to turn the birth of a baby into a money-raising event. The way I see it This censorship smacks of sanitising rot in society The way I see it is that banning plays from being staged in Kenya is a very uncreative role on the part of censors.Unfortunately, this is the tragic drama now unfolding; an unfortunate script done by censors who hide behind all manner of excuses to frustrate the development of drama in Kenya.In about a month, the censors' axe has felled two scripts that are well known, one of which has won international appeal in its novel form.First to be axed was Ngahika Ndenda jointly scripted by two self-exiled Kenyans: Professor Ngugi was Thiong'o and Ngugi wa Mirii. The Gikuyu play was intended for staging by Sarakasi Players at their Kenyatta International Conference Centre basement hall last month.Then last week the curtain fell prematurely for Theatre Yetu's adaptation of George Orwell's novel, Animal Farm, which they were to stage as a Kiswahili play, Shamba la Wanyama. They had support <-/form> the British Council in Nairobi and were to stage it at the Kenya National Theatre.Eleventh Hour It was reported that the censors arrived at the eleventh hour before production and produced a banning order saying, "it is deemed appropriate that the licence (for public production) not be given now, but Government officials are still studying the script".In the case of Ngahika Ndenda, there was no such protocol. It was a case of "bring back the licence we gave you and get out of here before we show you what we are capable of doing to you". Those who came to demand the licence back were kind of saying that the actors and actresses had already committed a crime by imagining that they could stage the play.Ngahika Ndenda and Animal Farm are not some of those documents that have been declared seditious. They are freely available in the bookshops and the former is published locally. In other words, they are not circulated in the dark in forfeited bunkers. You can buy them as freely as you can buy and read the Kanu manifesto and a copy of the Bible.That notwithstanding, Ngahika Ndenda has been banned from public performance before when it was staged at Kamirithu, Limuru, by villagers. The open-air theatre where it was performed to record audiences was subsequently razed down by administration officials who declared it an "anti-development" forum.One could guess why it attracts the <-_censors><+_censor's> pen so easily. One reason is that the name of Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kenya's foremost novelist, makes some people get goose pimples immediately. They get jitters, agitated and even paranoid when his name is mentioned although I doubt whether they have all read his books.The man has earned himself all the negative superlatives that the Kenyan political dictionary has. he has been called a "servant of foreign masters", a "peddler of foreign ideologies", "enemy of development", "unpatriotic" and earned himself other vitriol from the blazing mouths of politicians.No censor would, of course, like to be held responsible for licensing a play written by a man who has been declared a hydra-headed monster. Surprisingly, however, Sarakisi Players had been granted a stage licence and were already rehearsing before it was withdrawn. W2E019K Bouquets and Barbs Thanks for the food, but where will Somalis live? Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the United Nations chief, has quickly established himself as a man who can galvanise that often somnolent monolith into responding fast to situations it has the competence and the mandate to address. He is impatient with the long-winded, elaborate bureaucratic. set up which the decision- making process has to traverse. But he is achieving results. Further, he has proved that he is a man who is sensitive to the nuances of global scheming and manoeuvring. A good example: When the Security Council - heavily influenced by the now all powerful Western powers - twiddled their fingers and scratched their heads debating whether or not peace-keeping troops should be sent to Yugoslavia, an exasperated Dr Boutros-Ghali told them that they were doing so because it was not a rich man's war. Soon after, UN troops landed in Yugoslavia. An even poorer man's war is being fought in Somalia, although famine and hunger are killing far more people than the fighting clans ever will. United Nations troops, again thanks to Dr Boutros-Ghali's determined intervention, have arrived and more will be going in. However, their mandate is to protect the food convoys which lately have become targets of attack from bandits who see the food as easily available, highly demanded loot. Since it is imperative that the food should reach the hungry, helpless and dying Somalis, it must be protected. While it is heartening, therefore, to note that UN troops have arrived to perform this task, it is equally important that the possibility of their playing the role of peace-keepers be considered. It is not fair to the country and other Somalis - who may not care either way about the war - to be subjected to the horrors they now confront. Just as it was felt necessary to intervene actively in Yugoslavia, so it should be in Somalia. It is futile to try to save people from dying when there is no country for them to live in. I think the priorities should be adjusted to include the mission to save what is left of Somalia. There isn't much left and that is what is so worrying. Life there is a nightmare many cannot even start conceptualising. It is a tragedy of stupendous proportions and the United Nations must stop treating it like just another flare-up in another remote corner of the globe. The global body has shown that it can flex its muscles in the right direction. Somalia is one such spot and there is no time to waste. Dr Boutros-Ghali has shown the will, now he must do more and find the way. Then he will truly earn this large bouquet. Foul language needs no brain Two wrongs do not make a right and that is why Minister William ole Ntimama stands accused of choosing to insult the Kikuyu community in the most tasteless manner, even if he was justifiably livid at the equally extravagant, and, of course, equally crass abuse hurled at the Kalenjin community by the editor and publisher of Finance magazine, Mr Njehu Gatabaki. According to the latter, the most telling characteristic of Kalenjins is that they are uncouth, hardly civilised and still living many years behind the rest of the Kenyan communities. His is an endeavour to show that they do not deserve, and have not achieved, sufficient sophistication to earn the privilege and honour of playing key roles in the administrative set-up of this country. Of course this is a load of fudge which does scant justice to the kind of intelligence and broadbased mind perspective one would expect from a man of Mr Gatabaki's stature. In fact, the generally tepid reaction it provoked, even among the slighted community, was, I felt, eloquent testimony to the rating that it had received from Kenyans. Then in strides Mr Ntimama, the tough Moran of the "lie down like an envelope" notoriety. He immediately looks at Mr Gatabaki and sees the Kikuyu community - people with "protruding stomachs, flat noses, twisted, jigger-infested feet and stained brown teeth". He compares these to the Kalenjin - "straight and handsome". I am willing to bet that, deep down, Mr Ntimama does not believe that what he is saying is the truth. One does not need complicated scientific research to verify this. Just look around you and it does not matter what kind of eye-glasses you wear. Continue looking around and you will see also that Mr Gatabaki was absolutely off the mark. However, ultimately, it boils down to the issue of why such triviality as the shapes of people's stomachs, the size and colour of their teeth, the structure of their body or the position of their feet should become issues to take up valuable public time. It is preposterous. When the structure of the anatomy becomes a matter of serious preoccupation among brains expected to think, analyse and debate on options for social and economic development, then an explanation is urgently required whether we have stopped thinking. My plea is that, as Kenyans struggling through one of the most trying times in our short national history, we should avoid this kind of trash. Better still, we should avoid reacting to nonsense by spewing more nonsense. Both Mr Gatabaki and Minister Ntimama therefore suffer a barb, but the latter more so because his outburst was entirely as unnecessary as it was in bad taste. Hard, tough and fears none You have to give it to Mrs Ruth Cheruiyot: She does know how to rub people up the wrong way and, what is more, she does not give a fig about anyone. She is what in newsroom lingo one may call "a tough mohine who does not fear anyone". She does exactly what she wants - and gets away with it. Talk about a phenomenon! She, or rather her school, is in the news again, this time over a novel kind of punishment against four of her charges. Earlier, four girls, whose crime reportedly was to talk to boys during a visiting day at school, had been ordered not to so much as talk to anyone except their teachers, for the rest of the term. The term, incidentally, has just started. In a way, the punishment appears to me worse than being locked up incommunicado in the notorious isolation block cells at Kamiti. There, at least, there is no one to talk to except the four walls and cold floor. At Pangani, you are sitting with your friends, sharing peer companionship, etc. The very nature of school life entails close relationships, discussion, consultation, etc. How can anyone then dream up a punishment which totally contradicts the entire philosophy of schooling and school life? And since when was talking to boys such an abominable offence that it makes whoever is guilty a pariah? I think that the whole concept of crime and punishment within the context of school life has been distorted to the extent that it does not serve its corrective purpose. Still in Pangani, after the nature of the punishment became public, and in anticipation of an angry public reaction, the school's authorities substituted the no-talking punishment with one that is no better, within the context of the city - carrying a panga and jembe every day for two weeks for manual labour punishment. As the parents of the students asked. How are the girls supposed to do this if they are using matatus and other public transport whose operators refuse to ferry such implements because of their potential as weapons and also because they can easily hurt other commuters? I am not saying that students should not be-punished. What I am saying is that punishment should not be equated to torture. There are forms of punishment which are effective but which are not as malicious as these ones obviously are. Mrs Cheruiyot has outdone herself again, and I am willing to bet that nothing will be done to her. As she has been heard to confess before: She is well-connected. Pity the girls who have to constantly stand at the wrong end of her wrath. Admittedly, she has restored credibility to the school which before her had been on a fast slide. But her misdirected zeal, and obvious streak of malice, must earn her a barb. Bouquets and Barbs Darkness at night puts airport bosses in a spot The management of the "ultra-modern" Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) comes in for a major barb this week for letting one of the more pre-eminent symbols of successful public investment fall on hard times when it should be right at the cutting edge of the latest developments in airport management. There are a number of things which certainly could do with a bit of freshening up at that place, not least the rest rooms and refreshment facilities. But the incident which specifically attracts this barb happened this week and is, according to information gathered there, not unusual.On Tuesday night, the airport was plunged into darkness for lengthy intervals forcing delays at check-in counters and cash <-_bureaus><+_bureaux>, discontinuation of service at the bars and general confusion as travellers arriving to check in found themselves in darkness. At one point, one of the airlines had to use car headlights to provide light for passengers checking in at its counter.The general blackout, although quite unusual and unexpected for a busy airport, is not the worst of lapses either. The unforgivable one was the almost total cut off of the power supply which lights the runways and the markers which lead in aircraft wishing to land.The effect of this was that a number of planes could not land, flight connections were thrown into disarray and airlines and travellers were forced to spend extra money for a lapse they had nothing to do with. I know of one KLM flight which was scheduled to connect through Nairobi for Johannesburg to Amsterdam but which, after circling the Nairobi skies for almost four hours, had to go and land in Mombasa. The consequences of this are all too clear.Now, I am not an airport administrator. But knowing what airports are and the possible accidents or acts of sabotage which can be happen there, I seem to think that provision of sufficient light at all times is an absolute imperative. Does JKIA not have back-up generators which should switch on immediately power fails? I think it does, but I wonder how serviceable they are? It is my submission that operations of an airport can be grounded for any number of factors, but not because of an ordinary hitch like a power failure.Certainly, travellers into or out of the country are not going to be amused when they learn that their travel arrangements have been messed up because the airport which claims to be tops in Africa could not receive or send out planes. It is a shameful lapse which glib excuses cannot justify and for which the administrator there gets a barb.Onward march against hunger The bouquet goes to Kenya's farmers, big or small, wherever they may be for the hard work and sacrifices they have to overcome to feed this nation. A quick dash last week through Central and Rift Valley provinces to the western part of the country convinced me that <-_farmers><+_farmers'> sensibilities, opinions and ideas on the management of this country may be overlooked, but we cannot ignore the nobility of their work.Farming, for those who do not know, is one of the most unpredictable economic undertakings. There is the permanent fear that the weather will let one down just when the crop has reached the stage where either too much rain or sun - or lack of either - will destroy it. Often, the rain does not come at all. Unlike in other activities, farmers in general are not insured against losses which may be a result from such natural hazards. W2E020KTopical Commentaries City fathers are giving us a raw deal At times I wonder what happens to the money City Commission collects from the public as service charge. The reason for wondering is that we are often told that the money is supposed to improve or provide the services to the public. Although this is what is supposed to be, to the contrary, the money is not used for that purpose. In fact the services have generally deteriorated and I wonder why the public should continue paying the service charge. The other day, I took a tour of residential areas and what I saw and witnessed was shocking. To start with the estates are littered with heaps of uncollected garbage which has been lying there for weeks. In addition to the ugly scenes of garbage, the estates are the breeding grounds of mosquitoes and <-_vermins><+_vermin> especially this time when the city is experiencing some rains. The estates stink and are a health hazard to the very people who pay the service charge. As though that is not bad enough, garbage collection vehicles are seen racing up and down without ferrying anything and one is left to wonder who is supposed to collect the garbage. In the same estates, the commission is losing millions of litres of water through burst pipes which the commission plumbers have refused to repair. The irony of the whole thing is that when water is going to waste, some areas of the city are experiencing water shortage. Motorists will also tell you the nightmare they are to undergo trying to avoid craters which have formed in many of the city roads and streets. The craters are so huge that they can even swallow a small car and yet the civic fathers are prepared to do nothing. While these services are deteriorating, the city fathers are too busy demolishing what they call illegal kiosks and slums without giving the inhabitants alternative accommodation. I have often suggested in this column that if the services are to be improved, then the city should be returned to the electorate to elect their representatives to run the affairs of the city. The present and the past Commissioners are not accountable to the residents and that's why things deteriorate the way they are. The residents who pay the maintenance of city services are having a <-_row><+_raw> deal but nobody is prepared to listen to them. They complain daily of inflated water bills, potholes, garbage, street lights, etc but all that falls on deaf ears of the Commissioners. Since the residents are getting a row deal from the city fathers, I suggest that a way should be <-/deviced> for the residents to refuse to pay service charge. Why should the residents pay for service that are not there in the first place? Topical Commentaries Varsity official declared bad boss Bad bosses are nothing new, as many housemaids on the Kenya domestic scene will readily affirm.Some of them are treated worse then beasts of burden but dare not complain simply because they do not want to lose a roof over their head, however leaky it might be. On the industrial scene, however, Kenya trade unionists would go wild with rage if working conditions mentioned below existed on the factory floor. An employer who would only provide an unused bathroom as an office for one of his employees has emerged a winner of an annual "bad bosses" contest. "I spent seven months ... typing while seated on the commode. Every time someone flushed the toilet in the adjoining restroom, my chair gurgled," wrote the employee, who nominated her boss as one of the year's worst. The employer was only identified as a university official in Cincinnati, Ohio. None of the employees nominated, nor the employees, were identified. The bad boss competition is sponsored by 9 to 5, national association of working women. The groups also took nominations for good bosses but said "far too many" of the entries involved sexual harassment, and sex and race discrimination on the job. ***A power failure in the tourist city of Chiang Mai blacked out a dinner party for senior officials of the electricity generating authority of Thailand, a Bangkok newspaper reported on Sunday. The blackout, caused by a fierce thunderstorm, plunged 60 per cent of the northern city and outlying areas into darkness for several hours on Saturday night, officials were quoted as saying. The nation reported that the electricity officials were sitting down to dinner in a Chiang Mai hotel when the blackout struck. They had attended an all-day seminar on future electricity needs, the newspaper said. Topical Commentaries Protect men from AIDS too Last Monday's Page 13 lead story in The Standard and appropriately headed "Condoms for Coast prostitutes", might perhaps as raised as many eyebrows as the one used by a local contemporary, reporting on the same plague with regard to neighbouring Ethiopia for the latter's message was - "Spread of AIDS alarming". Following Kenya's historic and widely-vaunted discovery of the anti-Aids wonder Kemron drug, whose universal usage and easy availability in the republic would appear to be closely guarded "secret" as yet to be publicised by the (Health) powers-that-be, the Coast Provincial Medical Officer, Dr Otieno Omolo, was on Monday reported to have said that Mombasa prostitutes would be "supplied with condoms having chemicals which can kill the AIDS virus." Assuming that a "clarification" is not forthcoming with a view to elucidating further upon the new Kenyan (or foreign) discovery of an admixture of chemicals that can kill the AIDS virus, and in order primarily to convince both male and female prostitutes everywhere on Kenyan soil that the new concoction could both prevent and kill the deadly virus, one wonders how many of them will rush for the condoms. Indeed, until male prostitutes too, the world over (and particularly in Kenya) were obliged to use condoms - and Kibao is using the "prostitute" noun neo-scientifically to embrace men of loose morals - the deadly plague shall never be effectively controlled. Surely, men are largely to blame for many of the immoral pitfalls and sexually-transmitted diseases into which members of the fairer sex have been falling. Men prostitutes the world over prefer to be nicknamed adulterers; but when the deadly AIDS strikes, it doesn't discriminate between a male and female adulterer or prostitute. Both of them will have traded their morals basely and that's the source of AIDS, VD, some forms of "madness" and of marital, domestic upheavals. Incidentally, such hard, hurtful facts are never cited at any of the innumerable seminars, "new Kenya" propaganda courses and similar time and money-wasting gatherings at which our boys and girls, men and women are lectured on by highly learned individuals whose only drawbacks that they cannot talk over or "do things the African way". Unless one calls a spade a spade, one is likely to be misunderstood and dis-believed by fellow Africans. Opening a one-day symposium for private doctors in Mombasa, Dr Omolo, the CPMO, made an important point when he warned prostitutes "against moving around with tourists who didn't use <-/condomns>". He was also perfectly right when he warned that the deadly AIDS was now common in many parts of the world "and there was no way someone could trust any person he pr she had not met before." Incidentally, though, some of the people we have always known or <-/co-habited> with, are already HIV virus- carriers. And there are some who regard VD as "common fever". <-_Kenya><*_Kenyan> religious leaders and laity of all denominations should henceforth decide to be devoting some of their prayer meetings to the good health and welfare of the country's youth. In fact, had many of the religious "crusaders" among Kenyan Christians been preaching against petty permissiveness, crime, corruption, idleness, greed, AIDS, etcetera, instead of taking up so much time preaching pseudo-politics, not so many of the country's boys and girls - and quite a few among the middle- aged adults like Alex Kibao - would have been going astray hoping that Satan isn't so prurient that he may well be enjoying like a laughing-hyena waiting for sinners to join him in hell. Topical Commentaries Censorship for films displaying pubic hair Japan narrowly avoided a new trade conflict with the United States on Monday over a little-known aspect of Japanese society the systematic censorship of nudity, and specifically pubic hair in all films and works published in or imported to Japan. After 10 days of reflection, Japanese customs officials finished Monday by releasing 50 advance copies of the well-known US art review Artnews, which they confiscated on arrival in Japan because they contained a photograph of a nude woman lying on her back. "The seizure appears to be another form of trade barrier differentiating foreign from domestic nudity," Milton Esterow, chief editor of the art review, said on Monday morning. Artnews publishes 80,000 issues for distribution in 92 countries, and 600 copies are on sale each month in Japan. Several hours after Mr Esterow issued the statement, customs officials allowed the 50 seized issues into Japan without explanation, said Artnews spokesman in Tokyo Bernard Krisher, who called the whole affair "ridiculous". "It's the first time for a prestigious foreign art magazine to be held" by customs, Mr Krisher said, stressing the artistic quality of the work in question. The photo by Joel-Peter Witkin appeared in an advertisement for the artist's personal exhibition to be held this summer in galleries in the United States, France and Britain. At the heart of the problem is Article 175 of Japan's penal code which prohibits the distribution of images and writing judged "obscene". The article, reinforced in 1948 with the inclusion of a two-year jail term for violators, has been interpreted by the police and justice ministry as forbidding the display of genitals and pubic hair of men and women in films, on television and in all publications. In deference to the law, magazine and newspaper distributors mobilize an army of amateur censors to black out the parts at issue in Japan's numerous publications. Films are also routinely censored and are sometimes shown with a black rectangle over crucial areas. Kibao on Sunday Policemen who live up to their badge While many policemen are disgracing themselves with their addiction to Toa Kitu Kidogo (TKK): when some go as far as to rape school girls who seek their help, it comes of something as a surprise to learn of cops who have not forgotten their oath of office. Witness this: A 25-year-old woman had her handbag snatched by petty thieves near the Nairobi City retail market. She gave chase but the thieves managed to hop on a bus. End of handbag, you would have thought. Far from it, alert police who had seen the incident continued to give chase, stopped the bus, got on board, ordered the bus crew to seal the doors and searched out the thieves whom they arrested. Result: Ten minutes later the distraught woman went to Kamukunji police station to report the theft, only to be handed her handbag intact. Congratulations to some of these exemplary Kilonzo men! Arguments have gone forwards and backwards over the years on the effects of passive smoking on those around you. Some say it is negligible while others maintain it is far more than a public nuisance and smokers should be prosecuted like anyone else who pollutes the environment. The effects of smoking on the unborn child - if the statistics below are correct - gives the issue a new and quite horrifying dimension, Mothers, please don't. Husbands, do it outside the house, if indeed you must. Nearly half of all adults and unborn babies are exposed to danger from passive smoking in Britain, where 12 people die every hour from tobacco- related diseases, a medical report said. A study by the government's Health Education Executive showed that 48 per cent of unborn babies were exposed to tobacco smoke at home, either because their mothers smoked or because they were exposed to other people's tobacco smoke.
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Predictions uchaguzi 2007: earthquakes expected-foreget steadman, i am the bomb ! Did you Know ? 1) That Mwai Kibaki is not stupid enough to stand on a NARC-K ticket ? 2) He is not naive to lose Moi-Biwott, Nyachae, Ngilu and Kombo just to keep the NARC-K Morons happy ? He is wiser than that 3) He will get NARC-K, New Kanu, Ford People, Ford Kenya and NPK into forming the original NARC. Within the next few weeks you will see Ngilu surrendering NARC Party leadership to Kibaki. 4) As a result, the neW NARC grouping with Kibaki, Nyachae, Moi-Biwott, Ngilu and Kombo will sweep 137 seats in parliament, irrespective of whoever is nominated ODM-K Presidential candidate.ODM-K will bag 73 seats. There will be no mercy or chance for fringe parties. Politics will be very mainstream. 5) Northern Kenya and Coast Province (Except Mombasa) will vote for NARC and Kibaki to the last man. 6)Non-Bukusu Luhyas will vote for ODM-K irrespective of who is the presidential candidate. 7)Gideon Moi will be Kibaki's running mate 8)96 Members of parliament will not be re-elected. 114 Members will be re-elected. Thats 54% re-election rate which is not too bad compared to the past elections. 9)For areas that will vote ODM-K, 53% of them will vote out the sitting MP irrespective of party affiliation. This is the result of mainly usage of CDF funds. To be voted out in this category are Akaranga Moses Sabatia Awiti, P. Adhu Karachuonyo Awori, A. Moody Funyula Ayacko, G.M.Ochilo Rongo Balala, Najib Mvita Choge, Jimmy Aldai Kaindi, P.K Kathiani Kajembe, R.S Changamwe Kajwang', Otieno Mbita Khalwale, Bony Ikolomani Khamasi, Daniel Shinyalu Kibunguchy, E.W Lugari Kimeto, Anthony Sotik Kipchumba, J.L Eldoret East Koech, John Chepalungu Kulundu, Dr. Newton Lurambi Ligale, Andrew Vihiga Mwaboza, Anania Kisauni Midiwo, Jakoyo Gem Ndile, Kalembe Kibwezi Nyamunga, Eric Nyando Nyong'o, Anyang' Kisumu Rural Odoyo, Peter Nyakach Ogur, Ochola Nyatike Okundi, Philip Rangwe Olweny, Prof. P.A Muhoroni Omamba, Odhiambo Uriri Ondiek, Stephen Ugenya Paddy Ahenda Kasipul-Kabondo Owino, Likowa Migori Sambu, John Mosop Sang, Kipkorir Buret ####anda, Soita Malava Sungu, E.Gor Kisumu Town East Syongoh, Zadock Gwasi Tuju, Raphael Rarieda Wanjala, Raphael Budalangi Were, D.A Matungu Weya, Sammy Alego/Usonga 10) For areas that will vote NARC, 41% of them will vote out the sitting MP. This is the result of mainly a pro-Kibaki wave that will be sweeping through that area, followed by CDF performance. To be voted out in this category are:- Achuka F.Ewoton Turkana South Bahari, A.A. Isiolo South Boit, William Baringo North Cheboi, Moses Kuresoi Dahir, A.S Lagdera Gachagua, Nderitu Mathira Galgallo, Gurach Moyale Githae, Njeru Ndia Gumo, Fred Westlands Kagwima, Francis Tharaka Kamanda, Maina Starehe Kamotho, J.J Mathioya Karaba Daniel Kerugoya/Kutus Kariuki, G.G Laikipia West Kembi, Gitura Kiharu Kenyatta Uhuru Gatundu South Khalif, A.M Wajir West Khamisi, Joe Bahari Kimathi, J.V Lari Kimunya, Amos Kipipiri Kombe, Harrison Magarini Kuria, S. Kanyingi Limuru Maathai, Prof. Wangari Tetu Magugu, Arthur Githunguri Maitha, Lucas Malindi Maore, Maoka Ntonyiri Masanya, G.O North Mugirango/Borabu Mbau, Elias Maragwa M'Mukindia, Kirugi Central Imenti M'Nkiria, P.S.M Nithi Mohamed, A.M Wajir East Mohamed, A.H.M Mandera West Mohammed, A.C Lamu East Muchiri, G.G Ndaragwa Muite, Paul KabeteMukiri, Macharia Molo Muriuki, Karue Ol' Kalau Muriungi, Raphael Igembe Murungaru, Chris Kieni Muturi, Justin Siakago Mwangi, Onesmus Kigumo Nderitu, Alfred Mwea Ndolo, Reuben Makadara Nkaisserry, J.K Kajiado Central Ntimama, William Narok North Nyagah, Joseph Gachoka Nyagah, N.M.G.K Kamukunji Okioma, Mwancha Kitutu Masaba Omondi, William Kasarani Rotino, Philip Sigor Shaban, Naomi Taveta Sirma, Musa Eldama Ravine Sudi, David Marakwet West Toro, Joshua Kandara Waithaka, M.K Kinangop Wambora, Martin Runyenjes Wamwere, Koigi Subukia 11) The following MP's will be voted back on NARC ticket Kibaki, Mwai Othaya Abdirahman, H.Ali Wajir South Ali, Abdullahi I. Wajir North Angwenyi, Jimmy Kitutu Chache Bifwoli, Wakoli Bumula Biwott, K.N.Kipyator Keiyo South Chelaite, Alicen Rongai Chepkitony, Lucas Keiyo North Dzoro, Morris Kaloleni Ethuro, D.E Turkana Central Gitau, Kabugu Juja Ukur Yatani North Horr Haji, Yusuf Ijara Kagwe, Mutahi Mukurweini Kamama, Asman Baringo East Kariuki, Mirugi Nakuru Town Karua, (Ms) Martha Gichugu Karume, J.N Kiambaa Katuku, Mutua Mwala Kenneth, Peter Gatanga Keter, Charles Belgut Kibwana, Prof. K Makueni Kihara, Jane Naivasha Kingi, Kahindi Ganze Kirwa, Kipruto Cherangany Kituyi, Dr. Mukhisa Kimilili Kiunjuri, Mwangi Laikipia East Kofa, M.Tola Galole Kombo, Musikari Webuye Konchella, Gideon Kilgoris Kuti, M. Abdi Isiolo North Leshore, S.P Samburu East Lesirma, Simeon Samburu West Machage, W.G Kuria Manduku, Hezron Nyaribari Masaba Manoti, S.K Bobasi Mganga, Boniface Voi Michuki, John Kangema Mohamed, H.M Dujis Moi, Gideon Baringo Central Moroto, S.C Kapenguria Mugo, (Mrs) Beth Dagoretti Muiruri, P.K Gatundu North Mungatana, Danson Garsen Munya Peter Tigania East Munyao, Joseph Mbooni Munyes, John Turkana North Muriithi, P.G Nyeri Town Murungi, Kiraitu South Imenti Mwakwere, Chirau Matuga Mwandawiro, J.D.M Wundanyi Mwenje, David Embakasi Mwiraria, Daudi North Imenti Mwiria, Kilemi Tigania West Ndwiga, Peter Manyatta Ngilu, (Mrs) Charity Kitui Central Ngoyoni, Titus Laisamis Ngozi, Abdallah Msambweni Ntutu, Stephen Narok South Nyachae, Simeon Nyaribari Chache Obwocha, Henry West Mugirango Onyancha Joash Bomachoge Opore, Zebedeo Bonchari Metito, Katoo Kajiado South Poghisio, Sammy Kacheliba Rai, Gonzi Kinango Saitoti, Prof. George Kajiado North Salat, Nick Bomet Sasura, Abdi Saku Serut, John Mt. Elgon Shabaan, Isack Mandera East Shakombo, Rashid Likoni Sugow, Aden Fafi Tarus, Stephen Emgwen Twaha, Fahim Lamu West Nakitare, David Saboti Wamunyinyi, A.M Kanduyi Wario, Ali Bura Wekesa, Dr. Noah Kwanza Wetangula, Moses Sirisia 12) The following MP's will be voted back on ODM-K ticket Arungah, J.O. Khwisero Billow, A.Kerrow Mandera Central Ivuti, Mwangu Kitui South Khaniri, George Hamisi Kilimo, Lina Marakwet East Kilonzo Charles Yatta Kilonzo, Kiema Mutito Koech, Sammy Konoin Korir, J.K Mogotio Koros, D.K Eldoret South Kosgey, Henry Tinderet Madoka, Marsden Mwatate Magara, Omingo South Mugirango Maitha, M.M Kangundo Mango, Prof. C.A. Butula Marende, Kenneth Emuhaya Mbai, B.I Masinga Musila, David Mwingi South Musyoka, Kalonzo Mwingi North Mutiso, Mutinda Kilome Mwanzia, Daudi Machakos Town Mwendwa, Nyiva Kitui West Ndambuki, Gideon Kaiti Odinga, Raila Langata Oginga, Oburu Bondo Ojaamongson, Sospeter Amagoro Ojode, Orwa Ndhiwa Okemo, Chris Nambale Nyagudi, Ken Kisumu Town West Oparanya, Wycliffe Butere Osundwa, Wycliffe Mumias Ruto, Samoei Eldoret North Rutto, Sammy Kipkelion Too, Nondin Ainamoi Kwa hivyo wachana na porojo ya steadman, hivi ndivyo mambo ilivyo ! Related: • Predictionsuchaguzi2007earthquakesexpected forgetsteadmaniamthebomb


The pride of ODMkeya HMS ODMK LINER sank in the great Atlantic enroute to london where it was to be commission. More info
The prestigious HMS ODMKenya Liner has been reported that it is taking in water after her captains started fight for control while enroute to London. According to the relianle source the damage is very extensive that many of the crews have started using the safety boats to escape from the sinking liner.
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Muite fights to save his financial turf Story by FRANCIS THOYA Publication Date: 3/13/2007Ten years ago, Mr Paul Muite came up with an idea to start a flower farming business.The Kabete member of Parliament approached the National Bank of Kenya with a proposal for a Sh201 million loan to develop the 100-acre farm in Thika.Mr Paul Muite.But that figure has since spiralled to Sh548 million as the MP engages the bank in a battle over interest it charges him. The money was borrowed through Thugi River Estate Limited, a company he owns, in 1997. Mr Muite had guaranteed the loan as the director of the firm.The politician, who is also a lawyer, has fought many battles. He is now fighting to save his investment from being auctioned by the bank.Mr Muite’s case rekindles the memories of the long struggle Kenyans had with commercial banks over the increase in interest rates between 1997 and 2004.Intended saleYesterday, the MP told Lady Justice Roselyn Wendoh in Nairobi that the intended sale of his property by NBK is illegal.He charged that NBK had imposed unlawful interest rates and penalties on a loan extended to him 10 years ago.“Your ladyship, how can a bank demand interest rate and penalties that total more than the principal amount that had been extended to me?” Mr Muite asked through lawyer Gitobu Imanyara.He insisted that the interest rates and the penalties imposed were illegal, arguing that they were inflated.The MP has further argued that the compound interest imposed on the loan had not been sanctioned by the minister for Finance in accordance with the Banking Act and the Central Bank of Kenya Act.“Your ladyship there is a clear violation of the Banking Act and CBK Act and this court should not allow the sale of my client’s property,” Mr Imanyara submittedMr Muite has gone to court to challenge the interest rates imposed on the Sh201 million NBK loan. The bank has advertised the MP’s prime property in Thika for sale.Apart from stopping the sale, the legislator has requested a fresh account of his loan and the removal of all interest rates and penalties imposed by the bank.The flower farming project ran into problems in 2000 prompting the bank to recall the loan.NBK has insisted that before proceeding to advertise the sale proposal, Mr Muite and the firm linked to him had conceded that the debt was due and payable.The problems between the two parties started on January 19, 2006, when NBK placed an advertisement in the Press seeking to auction Mr Muite’s property.Mr Imanyara said that at the time, his client had moved to Milimani Commercial Courts where he secured interim orders stopping the sale.“As the interim orders subsisted, the bank proceeded to place my client’s property for sale. Your ladyship this was illegal,” Mr Imanyara submitted.Exploited clientsYesterday the High Court revisited the saga commercial banks faced between 1997 and 2004 relating to interest rates and penalties charged.Mr Muite, who was among MPs opposed to the charging of interest rates without prior notice, argued that commercial banks exploited clients and acted arbitrary when they increased the rates.He said commercial banks “robbed” Kenyans when they started charging compound interest and imposing penalties on defaulters without the approval of the minister for Finance.Between 1997 and 2004, most banks increased their interest rates after the weakening of the shilling against the dollar.Mr Imanyara took issue with President Kibaki who, upon assuming the presidency, attempted to exempt commercial banks from refunding the monies they had illegally collected from hundreds of defaulters. The President’s attempt to exempt the banks even after Parliament rejected the Banking Act Amendment Bill 2004 which gave banks a leeway to impose interest rates unchecked. The Bill was brought to the august House by the minister for Finance.“Many will recall that President Kibaki declined to sign the Banking Act Amendment Bill 2004 and instead recommended that all the interest rates charged by banks prior to the Bill be deemed to have been imposed with prior consent of the minister for Finance before 2004. But Parliament rejected the plea,” he said. Continued Mr Imanyara: “As the law stands now, commercial banks are barred from increasing interest rates arbitrarily without the consent of the minister for Finance. In view of this position all the inflated interest rates should be removed from the loan my client was given.” Mr Imanyara attributed the decision by commercial banks to review interest rates and penalties to pressure by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.“Kenya witnessed a rise in interest rates owing to pressure the IMF and WB exerted on the government to relax controls on the regulations and management of commercial banks,” he submitted.Apart from the present case, in December 2003 about 200 workers on Mr Muite’s farm petitioned the government to push the MP to pay their dues totalling Sh2.3 million. This is after Mr Muite failed to honour a commitment he had made in court to pay the money after a labour case against him was withdrawn.
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By Andrew TeyieLang’ata MP Mr Raila Odinga has dismissed claims that he duped his colleagues to attend the London meeting choreographed to endorse him as ODM-Kenya flag bearer.Speaking at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on arrival from London, Raila discounted claims that the meeting was meant to boost his presidential campaign by conferring him the “ Raila Tosha” status.“This was not part of my trip. So how could it have been planned to say Raila Tosha. Nothing could be more far fetched,” said Raila.“I did not organise the London trip. I was in USA, when I was commanded to go to London. I was told arrangements had been made for presidential candidates to travel to London… that all other candidates had confirmed,” said Raila.“That is why I changed my travel arrangements. I would have been here three days ago,” said Raila.The team that disowned the London talks, ostensibly because it had wrongly been tagged a begging mission and a Tosha session were Kanu chairman Uhuru Kenyatta, Mwingi North MP Kalonzo Musyoka, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Mvita MP Najib Balala, Nominated MP Julia Ojiambo and ODM-Kenya chairman Henry Kosgey.Kenyans disappointedHe said Kenyans in London were disappointed by presidential aspirants’ failure to attend the meeting and refuted claims that other presidential aspirants had isolated him.“How can I be isolated from these people around me? I do not think that isolation is the word you want to use. I feel very much part and parcel of a team,” stated Raila.He said he was part of the team to liberate Kenya from poor leadership and wondered why some people want to reduce ODM-K presidential nomination race between him and Mr Kalonzo Musyoka.“This is a contest. In a campaign people use different tactics to win. So long as they fit in acceptable standards of conduct there is nothing wrong with it,” said Raila.“It’s a healthy democratic process. In the end one person will win the nomination. Those are tactics by other people. ODM-K will remain united,” said Raila.Raila said his trip took him to Far East, US, before winding up in London.He said the London meeting was well attended by UK businessmen and Kenyans.“The dinner was between UK pounds 1,000 to UK pounds 1,500. People were paying UK pounds 1,000 to sit at a table with ODM-K presidential candidates,” said Raila.On Sunday Raila has asked individuals who are not ready to work with others in ODM-Kenya to quit, deepening the anxiety engulfing the party.Privately there have been unflattering words flying in all directions among the party big wigs, some claiming, and which Raila strongly denies, that the talks were ‘exhibitionist’ vehicle.Last week, ODM presidential hopeful Musalia Mudavadi said the party would be meeting to patch up the differences sparked by the falling out over the trip.It has been widely reported that ODM-Kenya’s problems appear anchored on presidential ambitions of Kalonzo and Raila, both of whom for different reasons believe they should be given the ticket.Kalonzo because he has led the party’s brood in opinion polls, and Raila because of his dominant and martyr image in terms of the torturous years he has waded through in second and third liberations.In a candid interview on Saturday, Ruto said his party’s problems begin and end with personality clashes between Raila and Kalonzo, which he said are "getting serious."
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ODM-Kenya presidential hopeful Mr Raila Odinga has asked individuals who are not ready to work with others to quit, deepening the anxiety engulfing the party."He who does not want to be with the rest of us should walk out," the Lang’ata MP, who jets back from abroad on Monday at 6.30am, said in one of his boldest statements yet.A simmering mistrust and suspicion that has rocked the party burst into the open recently with dirty cyber wars and an abortive boardroom coup to take over the secretariat."There will be no short cuts in the party," Raila declared without elaborating.Addressing hundreds of ODM-Kenya supporters in London, Raila said ODM-Kenya would continue to work as a team, and those not willing to do so should leave.Earlier on Sunday, Raila told The Standard by telephone that he regretted that some presidential hopefuls had missed the London rendezvous."The ODM-Kenya (aero)plane is on the runway and ready to take off. The sky is the limit," he said, explaining that the UK retreat marked an important turning point for the party.Mr Uhuru Kenyatta (Gatundu South), Mr Najib Balala (Mvita), Mr Kalonzo Musyoka (Mwingi North), Dr Julia Ojiambo (Nominated MP) and former Vice-President Mr Musalia Mudavadi skipped it after a visa hitch appeared to have locked out Mr William Ruto (Eldoret North)."This was the turning point for ODM-Kenya, and we’re going to make it," Raila said of the meeting also skipped by party team leader, Mr Mutula Kilonzo (Nominated MP) and recognised chairman, Mr Henry Kosgey (Tinderet).Corruption in ODMIt also emerged that the ODM-Kenya leaders attending the London dinner were put to task over corruption within their ranks, with Raila being asked to sideline corrupt leaders."They were told that while they condemned the Government over corruption, they seemed to hush matters when it came to allegations of graft against their members," a source at the function said on condition of anonymity.Participants at the retreat accused ODM-Kenya leaders of double-speak on corruption."Participants seemed to be of the view that ODM-Kenya leaders should be as loud in attacking and sidelining their colleagues associated with corruption as they are when taking on the Government," said the source.Raila, answering questions from the floor, asked Kenyans not to speculate too much about pending corruption cases against Ruto, leading party leader. Instead, he blamed the judicial system for failing to expedite cases."Let’s not hype too much about the court case involving Ruto. As far as we know the courts have not judged him guilty," said Raila, who was also subjected to a flurry of questions about his past."But since they did not refer to anything specific, he brushed them aside as unfair and with the challenge, ‘If you know anything that Raila Odinga has done, please say it’," said our source.No consensusChallenging those who wanted to leave the party, Raila picked the cue from another presidential aspirant, Gachoka MP Mr Joseph Nyagah, who however was bold in his response.Nyagah told the audience that he had two weeks ago said his colleague in ODM-Kenya, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, was destabilising the party."I didn’t say that because I dislike Steve. Steve is my friend. There was nothing personal. But ODM-Kenya is bigger than everybody else. I repeat it and to everybody present here today that anybody who does not want to work with the rest of us must leave the party now!" Nyagah is reported to have told the meeting.Raila also ruled out consensus as the way to nominate its presidential candidate, when put under pressure to explain how they were going to pick the party flag bearer.Said he: "We cannot follow the consensus path because it would mean that our supporters can’t elect us. We must have a democratic process of getting our presidential nominee."Nyagah said it was time ODM-Kenya rolled out a strategy to win the General Election, later in the year, but warned that this could not be achieved if presidential aspirants continued to work at cross-purposes.Government to rig electionsNyagah told the crowd at Oakington Manor School hall in Wembley, the United Kingdom, that he was privy to information that President Kibaki was preparing to rig the elections.A former Cabinet minister in the Kanu regime and recently an Assistant minister in President Kibaki’s administration, Nyagah claimed he knew how elections could be rigged, delving into what he said was a sneak preview."I was in Government and I can tell you we did it (read rig election)," he said amid thunderous laughter.He said the rigging would be executed through the use of voter registration in computers.During voter registration, he said, there would be a computer glitch (error) that would render most voters, especially from unfavourable regions, ineligible to vote.Nyagah said the Government would then claim that there had been an error and that there would be very little to be done.Asking Kenyans to be vigilant, Nyagah said that whereas the Government had announced registration of voters, the exercise had allegedly been going on in private offices of powerful Government officials."We must be on the look-out and report any suspicious voter registration activities around us," he appealed.The Africa paradoxRaila pointed out that it was a paradox that Africa, rich in resources, was the poorest continent."Africa is backward because of its leadership. We need to change the way that countries are led," he said.He noted that Kenyans were united in the struggle for independence, but have now retreated to their ethnic cocoons, a tactic perfected by the British who introduced ethnicity as a divide and rule tactic.Raila said his late father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, and former President Jomo Kenyatta parted ways because of ideological differences, but not ethnicity.Jaramogi was a socialist and Kenyatta a capitalist, he said.These politico-ideological difference escalated ethnicity, thanks to power brokers that surrounded Kenyatta at the time, Raila said.ODM-Kenya secretary-general, Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, whose speech centred on the economy, said the party’s Marshal Plan was to invest heavily in infrastructure in marginal areas such as the Northern Eastern, Coast and Eastern provinces.He said the main industries such as fish and cotton should be revised.He said the only way to energise the economy was through the modernisation of the Port of Mombasa and building a 21st Century railway track.Anger over Deya’s absenceODM-Kenya treasurer, Mr Omingo Magara, said Kenyans needed real change."That change will only come if you vote in ODM-Kenya," he told the guests.The ODM-Kenya (UK chapter) leader Shabanji Opuka thanked the ODM leaders for their presence.On Sunday, Mudavadi said the controversy surrounding the London trip had been blown out of proportion."We shall not allow our enemies to take advantage of the London trip and cause divisions. The London trip was well planned and it was unfortunate that most of us were engaged somewhere else," he said.Mudavadi was addressing a campaign rally at the historic Mombasa Tononoka grounds, which was attended by MPs Mr Ramadhan Kajembe (Changamwe), Mr Andrew Ligale (Vihiga), Mr Lucas Maitha (Malindi), National Labour Party chairman Mr Kennedy Kiliku and former Mombasa mayor Mr Taib Ali Taib.Conspicuously absent at the London meeting was controversial cleric Archbishop Gilbert Deya, earlier linked to organising and funding the trip.His son, the Rev Amos Deya, however, attended the dinner and said prayers at the start of the forum.There was stifled anger at Deya’s absence and the suggestion he could have been the main reason ODM-Kenya heavyweights skipped the function.
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ओद्म्क ORIGIN
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The begining of the decay of Orange Movement

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By Standard TeamMr Kalonzo Musyoka gave a taste of the looming battle for the control of ODM-Kenya when he criticised the media, claiming it was giving Lang’ata MP Raila Odinga undue mileage.Speaking just a day after his fellow contender for the new party’s ticket in next year’s election launched a campaign website, the Mwingi North MP also spoke with bitterness over what he called the media’s continued portrayal of Raila as ODM-Kenya’s de facto leader."ODM-Kenya is yet to agree on its official leader and you in the media should please give us time to sort ourselves out," Musyoka said.With the statement Kalonzo joined the list of politicians uncomfortable with Raila’s dominant political image, particularly at public appearances.He added: "Every time Raila is referred (by the media) as the de facto leader of any political organisation he joins, even when he has not been given the mandate by the people."The statement could be viewed in the new party, which hopes to unite Kanu and the Liberal Democratic Party to face Narc-Kenya next year, as yet another pointer to the perceived cold war running between the two politicians.Kalonzo appeared incensed by the media attention Raila got at the Lukenya meeting and cited cases where media houses made references and portrayed the meeting as ‘Raila-led’."The media had a huge image of Raila and Uhuru with others, including me in small picture bringing out contradicting political statements," he said.Both Raila and Kalonzo have lately emerged as two leaders with national appeal having consolidated their ‘home’ support. They are both under pressure from their political enclaves to run.It is this pressure that appears to be building up even before ODM-Kenya consolidates. Ever since he launched his biography, Raila has had extensive analysis of his political life and appeared to have increased the tempo after the launch of his campaign website, wrong-footing his opponents. It is this coverage that appears to have goaded Kalonzo, to turn his guns on the media.While Raila has openly declared that he will run for president in the General Election, due next year, Kalonzo has been critical of his comrades in LDP who have so far started campaigning, though he is on the campaign trail too. But his supporters believe he’ll formally join the race in November, when he hopes to make what he has described as a "major announcement".Kalonzo yesterday warned of "rifts… if the media and other politicians continued to refer to my friend Raila as its de facto leader."The Raila and Kalonzo camp have always been at loggerheads, though they are glued together by the desire to revenge on their former Narc (now Narc-Kenya) allies who threw out the contentious pre-election power-sharing pact.Raila and Kalonzo, in national politics, had also been brought together by political fate: the anger over the nomination of Uhuru Kenyatta as the Kanu presidential candidate after former President Moi refused to allow popular suffrage within Kanu.While the two are friends – in the political sense – Kalonzo’s criticism will not be taken lightly given that he did it in Nyanza Province, but at Ford-People’s stronghold, Nyaribari Chache constituency, where he was attending a funeral.Why Kalonzo made the remarks there is instructive and he left no doubt that the Lukenya Declaration that brought together the ODM-Kenya leaders together to share power was still having problems or would be expanded.Said Kalonzo: "The Lukenya Declaration on power sharing within ODM-Kenya was not final. More consultation would be held to ensure all Kenyans were accommodated."Of late ODM-Kenya has been facing harsh criticism and on Thursday, former President Moi warned Kanu members against leaving their party to join the new outfit.Kalonzo said ODM-Kenya was a political ideology to unite Kenyans from different political affiliations for a common cause and to end tribal based parties, an effort beyond an individual.Kalonzo’s main worry appeared to be the complication a popular Raila portends for his candidature. Or what it would mean to him were Raila to remain the point of reference in ODM-Kenya.It is not clear whether Kalonzo is feeling isolated in the ODM-Kenya ranks, or that he is not getting the attention he desires. He was however quick to say that ODM-Kenya had not agreed on who was its official spokesman.In an apparent response to retired President Moi’s opposition to Kanu’s working relationship with ODM-Kenya, Kalonzo said: "I was once in the innercore of the party as an organising secretary and I share the pain they undergo on hearing that their party was to be dissolved."But he said there was need for Kanu leaders to let the party evolve with the current political situation. "Like it happened in Tanzania where Tanu transformed itself into Chama cha Mapinduzi, Kanu should be allowed to evolve through ODM-Kenya with its main objective being a shareholder in national leadership."With the temperatures rising in ODM Kalonzo said he would seek out Kanu’s hardliners and convince them to support the party.Send to friendPrint friendly
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Is double-speak on London trip a pointer to an imminent split? Story by OWINO OPONDO Publication Date: 3/10/2007That ODM Kenya presidential hopefuls are divided over the trip to London was expected.The obtaining verbal fallout among the party leading lights and their supporters over the issue has brought to the fore a major trait that defines our politicians: double-speak.It was clear on March 2 when the announcement was made that the ODM-K leadership, just like that of Narc Kenya, needed to exhale and strive to find a script to share.Bonding forumFor that, two ODM presidential hopefuls, Mwingi North MP Kalonzo Musyoka and his Eldoret North colleague William Ruto, confirmed the London meeting and described it as a bonding forum.It was said the trip was to enable the leaders present their visions to Kenyans living in the UK. However, the about-turn by some of the leaders who had openly rooted for the trip, ostensibly on the “advice” of the public court, raises eyebrows.Keen watchers of ODM-K know the fallout over the UK trip was merely symptomatic of the personality differences among its presidential hopefuls.This is not helped by ethnic-informed stances taken by their supporters and a buffet of political parties that don’t share a vision. Like many other present and past political parties, ambitious leaders are using ODM-K as a ladder to ascend to power.It is said there are no permanent friends but interests in politics, but the parade of ODM bigwigs beats this wisdom. For example, what do Lang’ata MP Raila Odinga, Gatundu North’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Musyoka, Mr Ruto, former Vice-President Musalia Mudavadi and nominated MP Julia Ojiambo have in common? They were top shots in the Kanu Government. Beyond that, nothing else unites them.Recall that when former President Daniel Moi hand-picked Mr Kenyatta as his favourite to run for State House in 2002, Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka were among top officials who ditched the party to join forces with the opposition to form the Rainbow Coalition. Mr Mudavadi ditched the Rainbow and returned to Kanu and Mr Moi appointed him the vice-president.The move annoyed the Rainbow camp that felt Mr Mudavadi had betrayed their cause. The coalition later jettisoned Kanu out of office with Mr Mudavadi paying the price by being rejected by his Sabatia constituents. He is now striving to return to Parliament, with the presidential trophy to boot.Buoyed by a different opinion poll ratings within ODM-K, Mr Musyoka feels he is the most suited for the party’s ticket for the presidency. His supporters and community urge him not to relent.Under pressureMr Odinga too is under intense pressure from his supporters and community to gun for the top seat, arguing he played a major role in President Kibaki’s campaigns in 2002.Mr Kenyatta is still convinced he has what it takes to be the next president.And Mr Ruto is banking on the support from the vast Rift Valley Province to get the post.It is the route taken by the five ODM-K presidential hopefuls that will determine the future of the party.
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Here comes the ODMKenya Wolfs

Soon or late kenyans will be treated with a scenerio which will make them think twice in the future. This omorphous organization called ODMKenya, is the den of wolfs who will soon fighting each other in a way Kenyans have never seen before. The so called leaders are launching pad of other forces in florida and Abuja.
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A thief on the move

I sincerely hope Kenyan's memory is not all that short. In 1992 we were treated with one of the highest economic crime by a bunch of young YK92 thugs, who were the foot soldiers of former dictator Arap Moi. These were Mr Jirongo, Mr Nyamweya, Mr Kigen, Mr Ruto, Mr Amwari etc.

Now one of these crooks is on the move again to try to become the president of Kenya. I wonder he is not in jail after all the economic crimes he has been involved in? Where is KACC?
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य्क९२ FACTOR

We really are doomed; every manoeuvre being taken by our politicians is for selfish reasons’ many of these leaders have never stopped for a moment to think about us Kenyans. Now Ruto is going to use the Riftvalley voting block to bargain with ODMers for the presidency, he of YK92 anarchy and his fellow KANU frontmen have a mucky background and caused Kenya’s so much pain, if they were in the USA they would be sitting on death row awaiting the electric execution.Nicolas Biwott has called for a KANU unity both old and new. A while a go, I wrote that old KANU would form the next government through the back door and some one said my head needed checking. The KANU gameplan is beginning to unfold. Watch this space!Kenyans we need a clean start, a new breed of politicians perhaps we need to purge out all these manic power hungry people. We could set an emergency one off age limit for those vying for parliamentary seats to something like 50 years so that other new leaders can emerge, we just can’t keep on recycling the same old lot they are up to no good.
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NEWSFive ODM presidential aspirants skip UK trip Story by DAVID MUGONYI Publication Date: 3/9/2007The ODM presidential hopefuls’ bonding and fund-raising trip to London flopped last night after five of them pulled out.Mr Uhuru KenyattaMr Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr William Ruto, Mr Najib Balala and Nominated MP Julia Ojiambo withdrew from the trip only hours before they were scheduled to leave for the UK.This leaves Lang’ata MP Raila Odinga as the only aspirant travelling to London this weekend for the meeting. The Lang’ata MP said: “I will proceed with the programme because they were elaborate. Those that I can’t, I will reschedule.”Inclusion principleOthers with him are Gachoka MP Joseph Nyaga and Kisumu Rural MP Anyang’ Nyong’o’.Mr Nyaga said he was travelling to UK last night as he was a believer in the principle of inclusion.“The fact that some of our colleagues are not going should not be misconstrued to mean a split in the ODM. We cannot disappoint these Kenyans (in UK) at the last minute as they have fully paid for the trip,” he said.Mr Balala withdrew because he was unwell, although he had all documents ready.Also withdrawing from the trip were MPs Mutula Kilonzo and Kenneth Marende. It was not known whether interim chairman Henry Kosgey was travelling.In a Press statement, the four leaders said Kenyans had become suspicious of the trip, which was being seen as a begging mission.However, Mr Ruto confirmed to the Nation that he had not obtained the visa to travel to the United Kingdom.Mr Musyoka went public with the plans for the UK bonding trip last Friday.Addressing a rally in Kakamega, the Mwingi North MP said: “ODM presidential hopefuls will travel to London in a week’s time to bond and do everything to agree on the best method of picking the flag-bearer without splitting the party.”The announcement followed persistent disagreements between supporters of Mr Musyoka and Mr Odinga over control of the ODM-K national offices, with officially registered chairman Daniel Maanzo accusing Prof Nyong’o, who is the secretary-general, of undermining him. Mr Odinga who spoke to the Nation while awaiting a flight to London from Florida, US, said he would go ahead with the programmes arranged by the ODM UK office.However, he said, he will skip those that required all the aspirants.He said he fully understood the content of the letter from his four colleagues and he will be contacting them once he arrives in London this morning on how to proceed.Late applicationMr Ruto said he had been informed by a senior official at the British High Commission in Nairobi had that his application had come in late. The official had given Mr Ruto two options: either to withdraw the application or wait much longer for a decision from London on whether he would get a nod to visit the country or not.Mr Ruto is facing a criminal case involving land transactions.However, the Head of Press and Public Affairs at the British High Commission Charley Wiliams said she would not comment on individual cases, adding that her Government had a policy on visas.Ms Williams said UK’s immigration law touched on corruption and crime: “It is a well known fact that our immigration rules provide for the exclusion of individuals where there is evidence of involvement in corruption or criminal activity.”The law, she added, indicated that the presence of such individuals in UK “would be against public good” in the UK.Generally, people implicated in corruption cases are considered undesirable in the UK.Another ODM-K presidential candidate Musalia Mudavadi had pulled out of the trip earlier, saying he was busy campaigning at the Coast. Mr Mudavadi said he would be represented by Mr Marende at the London talks. However, Mr Marende also said he had withdrawn from the trip last evening. He told the Nation: “My conscience tells me not to go after considering many things. I am a team player.” Mr Kilonzo, the ODM team leader, also withdrew from the trip saying “there was nothing much left in it” after five key leaders had pulled out. Mr Odinga has been on a campaign trail for about two weeks in the US.In their statement yesterday afternoon, the four presidential hopefuls who withdrew from the trip at the eleventh hour said: “The present debate has clouded this issue and made Kenyans at large very suspicious of our motive, questioning the reason for our travel there.”“In view of that fact and being leaders who are sensitive to the sentiments of our people, we believe that as those people’s servants, we must abide by their demands.” And they added: “We have, therefore, taken a decision and have cancelled our trip to London.”The four dismissed speculation that their trip was meant to reach consensus on picking one of them as the ODM Kenya presidential candidate.“We would like to categorically state that the decision of who is the flag-bearer of ODM Kenya will be decided by party members in Kenya and not by anyone else,” they added. Although they had made the decision late after their colleagues had already made travelling arrangements, they expressed solidarity with them and wished them fruitful deliberations. They added that they had not had enough time to consult their colleagues, who had made such arrangements.The statement explained that they had been invited by the ODM supporters in Britain, who shared their plans, agenda and vision for the country.The leaders were to address Kenyans in the UK and explain to them what role they could play if ODM took over the leadership later this year.Role in the future“We would like to state categorically that the ODM leadership was invited by our brethren in the UK to go there and share with them our plan and agenda for the future of this great country. They also wanted us to inform them, as Kenyans, what role they can play in that future.”They said their decision to withdraw from the trip was mainly because Kenyans have been questioning the leaders’ decision to go and bond outside the country. Independent sources said some of the leaders withdrew after they learnt that Pastor Gilbert Deya was one of the organisers of the trip. Pastor Deya came to fame during the miracle babies saga and he is wanted by police in Kenya.Last evening Pastor Deya confirmed that he was one of the organisers and an ODM supporter.
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The ODMKenya presidential candidates have been pitching their camps in foreign land begging so that they can be presidents of Kenya. The biggest question is this, in return of what? Many of the Kenyans abroard have been disturbed by the way the beggers have been conducting themselves. Many Kenyans who ran aways when the very very people who are now parading and masquarading as liberators were in power are so much incensed and desmayed by these individuals.
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The euphoria which has been created by the thugs, looters, grabbers, coup plotters, hypocrites, and thieves in the name of liberators, is now on its first stages of eminent fissures and un ceremonious disintegration and eventual decay. The much published London excursion has revealed exactly what many of the self respecting and true sons and daughters of Kenya have said again and again. The news are that international criminals like self proclaimed baby giver in the name of Bishop Deya have been the financiers and main players with the ODMKenya luminaries. More is down the pipes for the Kenyans to see.
The euphoria which has been created by the thugs, looters, grabbers, coup plotters, hypocrites, and thieves in the name of liberators, is now on its first stages of eminent fissures and un ceremonious disintegration and eventual decay. The much published London excursion has revealed exactly what many of the self respecting and true sons and daughters of Kenya have said again and again. The news are that international criminals like self proclaimed baby giver in the name of Bishop Deya have been the financiers and main players with the ODMKenya luminaries. More is down the pipes for the Kenyans to see.




Former MPS demand better pension Story by DAVID MUGONYI and PETER KIMANI Publication Date: 3/31/2007 About 200 former MPs met in Nairobi this week to remember their time together and ask for a decent pension. Many are now in the sunset of their lives and are glad to have survived the rough and tumble of politics — but not without personal loss or injury. Their main complaint was that they do not have sufficient pension or social security. They served in Parliament at a time when MPs’ pay was low, and there were none of the super-scale salaries, allowances and other perks enjoyed by the current crop. What galls most of them is that they also missed out on the generous pension and medical care and life insurance schemes available to MPs today. What they earn in pension has long been overtaken by inflation, and the authorities have delayed implementing a court judgement awarding them a more reasonable sum. Not surprising, their debates at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre focused on their dire straits and lack of recognition. But for others, life has been good so far. The two-day seminar was the first of its kind to be held in Kenya. It brought together over 300 former legislators, several of who served in independent Kenya’s Cabinet. The aim of the conference was to provide them with a forum to engage in debate on national issues of the day. Also present were former ambassadors, retired professionals and former civil servants. Some of those who embezzled public resources, grabbed public land and lived a luxurious life at the expense of taxpayers in their heyday were also not left behind. Gideon Mutiso, 75 Yatta Constituency 1963-1971, 1980-1997 An MP from independence, Mr Gideon Mutiso’s career was interrupted when he was handed a nine-year jail term after being implicated in the 1971 coup plot. Others implicated in the conspiracy to overthrow President Kenyatta’s Government were chief justice Kitili Mwendwa and armed forces commander James Ndolo, who were eased out of office. Another was Prof Ouma Muga. Mr Mutiso served the full jail sentence without remission, but not long after his release, he sensationally bounced back to Parliament. Clad in a green suit, blue dotted tie, white shirt and black shoes, Mr Mutiso tells of life after Parliament. He is now a humble shopkeeper in Yatta and grows maize and beans. He claims credit for “crushing” the oathing that became prevalent in Central Kenya after Mr Tom Mboya’s assassination in 1969. “I laid the papers that were used for oathing on the table,” said the 75-year-old father on nine, who says his first wife, a mother of three, deserted him after he was jailed. He remarried and got six other children. His last born is in Standard Five. James Njiru Ndia, 1969-1979, 1983-1992 A faded blue suit conceals the man who became famous (or infamous) for the “Kanu moto” battle cry. The combative Mr James Njiru made his name as one of the most enthusiastic party stalwarts during the single-party days. His loyalty was recognised in 1988 when President Moi appointed him minister for National Guidance and Political Affairs. Mr Njiru tried to ride roughshod over other Cabinet ministers, even trying to exercise general supervision over his colleagues. Eventually, he overstretched himself and became something of an embarrassment and the ministry was scrapped. With the advent of multiparty politics in 1992, Mr Njiru’s political star dimmed. He moved from Kanu to a bewildering variety of political parties, but never made it back to Parliament. Now he has resurfaced as an official in the Kanu faction allied to Keiyo South MP Nicholas Biwott. A father of eight, Mr Njiru is proud that all his children are graduates. He is remembered in politics for his battles for political supremacy in Kirinyaga District. His arch-rival at the time was Mr James Njuno, now deceased. He spends most of his time in Nairobi on political activities or in his farm in Kirinyaga where he grows coffee and rice. Onyango Midika, 70 Muhoroni Constituency 1974-1983, 1988-1992 “I am now a farmer in Kabar village, growing sugarcane, mangoes and maize,” said the bespectacled former MP and trade unionist. A member of the radical wing in Parliament, Mr Onyango Midika recalls vividly the day in March 1975 when a “stranger” stormed the House crying: “I want my husband! I want my husband!” She was Mrs Terry Kariuki, wife of popular and radical J.M. Kariuki. She was from the City Mortuary where she had found her husband’s body after reports that he was missing. The murder of the Nyandarua North MP rocked the Kenyatta government much the same way the 1969 killing of Tom Mboya did. In 1976, Mr Midika remembers being in the office of deputy Speaker Jean Marie Seroney when police stormed it, brandishing guns. In the most blatant violation of parliamentary immunity ever witnessed in Kenya, Mr Seroney and Butere MP Martin Shikuku were arrested and trucked off to detention. Their crime? Declaring that Kanu was dead. In 1980, Mr Midika was associated with radical MPs dubbed the “Seven Bearded Sisters”, and clashed often with AG Charles Njonjo. Stephen Cheptai, Baringo East, 1969 - 1974. Perhaps this House veteran exemplifies the travails of former MPs. Mr Stephen Cheptai, however says he is not poor because he has about 30 cows, five camels and about 60 goats. He was in a green shirt, blue tie, cream jacket and black trousers. “I survive looking after my cattle. I am a peasant farmer,” he said while gulping a mug of tea before getting a black Bic ballpen pen from his pocket to calculate how many cows were left after last year’s drought. THE FATHER OF SIX SAYS he moves with his livestock from place to place in search of pasture. “But they (livestock) keep dying because of drought,” he says adding that he survives by selling the animals. Jackson Kalweo Nyambene North (Igembe), 1974-1983, 1992-2002 Mr Jackson Kalweo was Nyambene North MP between 1974 and 1983, when he became one of the victims of the infamous purge against figures associated with attorney-general Charles Njonjo. Expelled from Kanu, kicked out of Parliament and consigned to political wilderness, Mr Kalweo patiently bade his time until the advent of multipartyism when President Moi reached out to him to help stem the opposition onslaught in the Meru region. And he delivered, becoming one of the few Kanu MPs elected in 1992 in the opposition zone. He went on to serve two terms, reaching dizzying heights as minister of State in the Office of the President. The father of eight remembers when he was branded a traitor in 1983 and sent packing from Parliament and expelled from Kanu. This was purely on suspicion that he was a close ally of Mr Njonjo, the power man who had fallen out with President Moi and been accused of plotting to overthrow the Government. He now rears a few grade cattle in Maua, Meru and keeps a shop that sells his family’s farm produce. Some of his children are bankers and accountants, engineers while others study medicine. Munyua Waiyaki Mathare Constituency, 1963- 1983 Born in Waiyaki wa Hinga’s family, Dr Munyua Waiyaki served as MP for the city’s North East constituency between 1963 and 1983. It was later renamed Mathare. He is best remembered as Foreign minister between 1974 and 1979, and his battles with attorney-general Charles Njonjo over links with apartheid South Africa. Mr Njonjo advocated official ties with South Africa. “Over my dead body,” Dr Waiyaki would retort. A member of the liberal wing of Kanu during the single-party days, he maintained cordial links with Opposition doyen Oginga Odinga when such links meant political suicide both under the Kenyatta and Moi governments. He lost his seat in 1983 after a series of battles with a former Nairobi mayor Andrew Ngumba. He then travelled overseas for a refresher course in medicine and on return opened a surgery near Gachie. He was running the surgery until last year but is now a livestock farmer. He also deals in real estate. Once, when MP Jean Marie Seroney concurred with Martin Shikuku who had said Kanu was dead in 1976, President Kenyatta asked Dr Waiyaki why he gave such people a chance in Parliament. Dr Waiyaki was Deputy Speaker at the time. Anarita Karimi Njeru South Imenti, 1975-1978 Ms Anarita Karimi Njeru made history as the first woman ever elected MP in Meru District. But her term was cut short after she got a two-year prison term at Lang’ata Women’s Prison for allegedly misappropriating Sh44,0000 school funds, a charge she disputes till today claiming it was politically motivated. She was elected in 1975 in a by-election in South Imenti when the election of Mr Kabere M’Mbijiwe was nullified by a petition court. Ms Njeru, who was in a polyester dotted dress, matching handbag and black shoes, said she now sells second-hand clothes in the village. “I was picked from Parliament buildings to record a statement; the next thing was I was appearing in Makongeni police and later I was charged with embezzlement of funds,” said the single mother of three. After serving her term in jail, she rejoined teaching until 1995. “Now I grow maize, beans and sell mitumba for survival,” she said. Waruru Kanja Nyeri Town, 1969-1980, 1988-1990 The towering man known for his courage says he has been living quietly, “like any other African, looking after the shamba.” Growing up in a racially divided Kenya, he was once the Queen’s subject, in whose name he was jailed and nearly hanged for his role in the freedom struggle. But his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He was released after independence and served as Nyeri Town MP. He was jailed by the Moi government in 1980 on a minor foreign exchange offence, and he bounced back in 1988 when the Moi system thought he would contain Mr Mwai KIbaki. He was to fall from grace in 1990 after the assassination of Foreign minister Robert Ouko. “We didn’t fight for independence to kill each other,” Mr Kanja thundered in Parliament, and was sacked. Mary Wanjiru Kinangop 1992-1997 Ms Mary Wanjiru, the self-proclaimed prophetess stunned the nation when she emerged out of obscurity to win the Kinangop seat in 1992. She served one controversial term, and at the KICC yesterday, it was clear she had lost none of her charisma and mystery. She seeks divine guidance in whatever she does. The MP is best remembered for her prayers from the floor of the House, resplendent in ankle-length dresses and scarves. Yesterday, she said she had a vision that the former MPs would soon return to the House, as she intended to vie in Kinangop, where she grows flowers. “God has told me that you prepare yourselves to return to the august House,” Wanjiru told an attentive group. “I have been out of the limelight for some time, but I enjoy my private life.” Phoebe Asiyo Karachuonyo 1979 -1988; 1992 to 1997 the former MP looks younger than her 72 years “because you have no time growing old if you are doing good work for society.” Mrs Phoebe Asiyo, who lives in Karachuonyo engaging in small-scale farming and gender consultancy, says old leaders ought to bow out instead of waiting to be kicked out. She is famous for her battles with Mr Okiki Amayo in Karachuonyo politics. After losing the seat in 1997, she was involved in campaigns for constitutional reform and women empowerment. She says she chose to quit politics and allow a younger person with more energy to take up the Karachuonyo seat and represent its people. How is life now? “I am managing with difficulty,” she says. She was in her trade-mar






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MASSIVE CORRUPTION ROCKS RAILA'S MOLASSES PLANT. BY SHEM KOSSE. Endless queues of grand scams that continues to rock and as become synonymous with Kibaki's regime as not spared either the controversy ridden kisumu molasses plant. The graft still rages at the plant despite of massive exposure by a cross section of the press of racism and questionable tender awards that has dogged the spectre International, a firm associated with the Odingas. Extensive investigation reveals that nepotism, bribery, political loyalty and patronage are the hallmark of job recruitment-both casual and permanent jobs. Besides top-cream positions that were previously available at the onset of the plant's revival and awarded to non-locals, the recruitment of employees at the recently completed yeast plant-within the factory- saw the non natives smiling further all the way back home. Locals have been impeccably shortchanged again and this has sparked off and laid bare the height of deeply routed endemic corruption in the revived Kisumu Molasses plant, which is towering along Kisumu Busia road. Over 30 employees in the yeast plant according to inner sources were absorbed without a properly laid down criteria, with the majority being the non-natives with disastrous academic background or no qualification at all to suit the palm positions they are holding, currently. The move has not gone down well with the natives of Kogony and Karando, whose lands was acquired in 1976 for the project when the incumbent president was the minister for finance and under whose docket the project then fell, at its inception. Natives who sought for anonymity poured scathing attack to the entire management team which they described as a bunch of arrogant and graft-minded lot with no welfare of the locals at their heart at all with Human Resource Director Israel Agina receiving a big share of criticisms. Agina was heavily criticized by locals for his notoriety and tendency of asking and receiving bribes inform of money, cows and the huge chunks of land at the shores of the Lake Victoria , bordering plant's land, for one to get a lucrative job. Aggrieved locals who were breathing fire against the management and more so Agina whom they said should not even be entrusted with the management of a village cattle dip, gave a tearful and sympathetic example of a local with an impressive academic credentials who graduated 13 years ago with anthropology from Moi University who has been working as a casual labourer and yet their home is just a stone throw, was recently fired by the management. Peter Ochieng Akello was shown the door after the weekly citizen Newspaper highlighted his plight alongside racism which has rocked the awarding of tender in the yeast plant. It was reported that yeast plant Director Mr. Vantander in liaison with a corrupt notorious Asian tycoon Sanjay Patel have monopolized every supplies at the plant. All the yeast among other things like Alum, Sodas ash, chlorine is preserve of the bespectacled and stout Sanjay, courtesy of vantander. Peter a village graduate who is too near molasses though very far for him to access an employment was relieved of his menial job of slashing grass at the plant on suspicion that he is leaking negative information to the press, to the amazement and chagrin of the locals At the centre of the locals frustrations, is the area chief Mr. Joseph Osegii and his assistant Mr. John Ndege. The management has reportedly hired the services of the duo administrators and the self styled elders under the flagship of Mr. Nicholas Okamo as the "representatives" of the locals. A move they roundly condemned saying it was solely aimed at suppressing and oppressing the dissent voices since the chiefs does threaten them of dire consequences if they dare point blaming fingers to the management Locals further questioned the role of the area chiefs who are civil servants-in a plant that is not only costliest but also ethnically and politically sensitive-since they are ever glued at the plant at the expense of their official duties, serving their egocentric interests and for the management. It can be recalled vividly and nostalgically during the height of molasses controversy, when the then asst. minister for urban Development Hon Maina Kamana Kamanda kicked out the storm on molasses plant Hon Raila Odinga went ahead to question the government's authority over the plant when he posed. "If we were in Britain he would be a candidate of queen's award. We have managed to revive what had defeated the government. People had come with flames to cut the metals and sell off cheaply. We saved the plant. We don't deserve to be called thieves. We deserve to be candidates of presidential award." This is the areas residents are saying is not in dispute because it is a fact. But what the keen political observers, area elders and locals are wondering to date is that why is Langata Mp Raila Amolo Odinga ever ready and does call a colourful press conference to ward off the critics across the political divide who dare question how the over 240 acres of land occupied by the controversial plant was acquired by Odingas. And, he will never do the same to address the plight of the locals who are aggrieved close to 5 years since the revival of the plant arguing that he is not a board member of Spectre International. A move viewed by critical pundits as hypocrisy of the highest order and challenged him to come out clean. So are the area residents who too questioned the rationale behind all this, adding that Kenyans will soon wake up to shocking news about molasses plant. "We have been patient enough! We disposed off our lands at meager fee thinking that our kinsmen are going to benefit in the future but this was just but a pipe dream!" said bitter locals. Continuing: "they either dance to our tune or brace for the reprisals that will see them vacating our land". The only "benefits" the natives can brag about is the tap water from the plant which too they say is over treated; raw and stench effluent which affects their green vegetation has it snakes to the lake. And thick nauseating smoke belching from the plant and has it disappears to the thin air; it regrettably reminds them of a dream gone awry. Inaugurated in 1977 and abandoned in 1982 before the government gave up on it officially and put it under receivership in mid 90's, its no gainsaying that the controversy-dogged plant is courting a bomb- shell since tension is fermenting at an alarming rate. And the area residents who are also shareholders through the mysterious and defunct Kisumu Development Trust (KDT) have vowed to drive their message home concerning their significant rightful quest. Until four years ago-formerly known as Kenya Chemical and Food Cooperation (KCFC)-molasses was touted as one of the outstanding white elephant projects spanning two decades. But this now notwithstanding: Surprisingly, there is a larger need for the plant's foreign investors to withdraw temporarily their financial support for the locals' wide-range touchy grievances to be ironed out, amicably. By the time of going to the press, there was a wide spread talks that the bitter locals have been holding a series of secretive meetings strategizing on how to paralyze operations in the plant. It is worth noting that sometimes last year a contingent of anti riot police in full combat gear were compelled to pitch camp for two weeks, throwing a tight security cordon around molasses plant when leaflets were circulated to the effect that the residents had planned to storm the plant without notice and immobilize operations. Joluo.com

Kimunya woos Kenyans abroad

Kimunya woos Kenyans abroad Story by KEVIN J. KELLEY in New York Publication Date: 3/25/2007. The government is streamlining investment procedures with the aim of doubling the $1 billion that Kenyans abroad now send home each year, Finance minister Amos Kimunya said on Friday. The minister spoke with the Sunday Nation in the midst of a series of meetings with Kenyans living in five cities in North America. Mr Kimunya. Photo/FILE. About 1,000 Kenyans turned out on Thursday for a four-hour conference in Washington at which Mr Kimunya listened to expatriates’ concerns while outlining government initiatives to ease the transfer of money from the United States to Kenya. Kenyans attending the event expressed “a desire to re-engage back home in terms of exchanging ideas, participating politically through the voting system and investing in the economy,” Mr Kimunya said. He attended another conference with Kenyan expatriates in Atlanta on Friday and Saturday and is scheduled to meet next week with Kenyans in the state of Minnesota and in the Canadian cities Toronto and Ottawa. Mr Kimunya is telling his audiences that the Kenya Investment Authority has simplified procedures for investing in the private sector at home while simultaneously strengthening safeguards against money-laundering. To coincide with the minister’s meetings with Kenyans in the Diaspora, the Postal Corporation of Kenya last week officially launched PostaPay, a money transfer system. Mr Kimunya says PostaPay offers a cheaper alternative to Western Union for Kenyans who want to wire money back home. Noting that more than half of the roughly one million Kenyans living in North America and Europe earn comfortable incomes, Mr Kimunya suggests in his speeches that they can “potentially invest huge sums” in Kenya. He says it is realistic to expect overseas Kenyans to soon be sending $2 billion a year to recipients at home. Mr Kimunya told the Sunday Nation that he is advising Kenyans in North America to put their money in four growth sectors: Information technology, energy, tourism facilities and agricultural exports. Opportunities are especially attractive in the energy sector, he says, because the government is working to deliver power to the 85 per cent of Kenyans not connected to the national grid. In seeking to facilitate greater investments by Kenyans abroad, Mr Kimunya says his ministry is studying India’s success in building its information technology sector largely on the basis of funding by expatriates. Other model systems, including those in the Philippines and Ireland, are being studied as well, Mr Kimunya adds. “We’re picking the best from across the globe,” he says.

THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS....................
By Patrick Mathangani Former MPs have been told to stop grumbling since they are responsible for the poverty afflicting Kenyans today. On Friday, Mr Gacuuru Karenge, himself a former MP for Kandara, said they failed to make policies that could reduce poverty. "We who sit here are basically responsible for the problems in this country," Karenge told the more than 100 former legislators attending a meeting in Nairobi. "We sit here saying that we should remain waheshimiwa while the majority of Kenyans are languishing in poverty," he said. The two-day meeting has had former MPs complaining how they now lead miserable lives. They have also called for a law to be passed to give them a fat pension. But Karenge, who gave a paper highlighting poverty levels in the country, told the former MPs not to burden Kenya with demands for money. "We were very powerful. Some of us were very near State House. We were in a position to make good policies but we did not," he said amid protests from his colleagues. He said: "We should not be lamenting. We should be sorry that we made others suffer." Politicians have failed Kenyans, he said, and advised that ODM-Kenya and Narc-Kenya would not help the situation. Said he: "How do I move around with a Sh44 million limousine when I am MP for the biggest slum?" At that point, the former MPs shot up in protest, saying it was wrong to blame them for Kenya’s woes. The Hummer debate also took centre-stage, with Mr Martin Shikuku saying remarks the vehicle cost Sh44 million were lies. He said he General Motors told him the most expensive one could not exceed Sh28 million. "God hates lies. Lies belong to Satan," he said. However, a former minister in President Jomo Kenyatta’s government, Mr Nathan Munoko, said leaders had caused divisions in the country. "As leaders, we have refused to grow up. Leaders keep telling lies," he said. Dr Moses Misoi, former MP for Eldoret South, said most MPs had not performed. "Even when we were in Parliament, how much did we do in villages to mobilise Kenyans to develop themselves?" he posed. He said it was wrong for MPs to take charge of the CDF kitty since they would use it for campaigns. Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister, Ms Martha Karua, said everybody should accept blame for what has gone wrong and work towards improving the lives of Kenyans.


This is a letter of profound gratitude and appreciation to you and your Government following the inauguration of the Dedan Kimathi Memorial statue one month ago, on the aptly road named Kimathi street.The unveiling of the Dedan Kimathi Memorial statue clearly demonstrates the seriousness with which your Government holds the freedom struggle in this country, long consigned to the oblivion by our country. A lot of criticism has been levelled against you and your Government over the past one month, over what is perceived as the high cost and inadequacy of the Memorials. These are standpoints that cannot be accorded any measure of seriousness, because Kenyans as a whole have shown no regard and no respect for their heritage and the freedom struggle over the last fifty years. The Chief Executive Officer of the lead local mobile phone network provider Safaricom, has just announced that the Safaricom subscriber base is due to hit the six million mark at the end of March 2007. If the six million had donated only 10 Kenya shillings to a cause such as the establishment of Trust Fund dealing with all aspects related to the freedom struggle in Kenya, then an initial amount of 60 million Kenya shillings (approximately US $ 850,000), would have been immediately raised. It therefore makes no sense to raise hue and cry over the Memorial’s approximate stated cost of US $ 57,000.Of much greater importance though Sir, is the need to fast track and solidify a clearer and more accurate documentation of Kenyan history in general. We know and understand too little about ourselves and are doing even less towards remedying this serious anomaly. Your Government’s unveiling of the Dedan Kimathi Memorial statue has however encouraged me enough to write you this letter.Our sister West African Republic of Ghana, has just marked the Golden Jubilee of her independence. Prior to this, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), World Service, ran a most interesting series and analysis on Ghana’s fifty years of independence, featuring a wide cross section of individuals and views, and defined by Kwame Nkrumah’s remarks of 6th March 1957 that “Ghana, your beloved country, is free forever”.In quick succession, the BBC World Service will certainly carry numerous other similar features, as several other African countries approach the Golden Jubilees of their independence. At the rate at which socio-cultural deterioration continues to take place in this country, the Kenyan feature due for the year 2013, will clearly rank amongst the most colourless of all the African features, and we only have ourselves to blame for this.On 1st June 1963, the date we attained internal self governance in Kenya, founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, stated that “This is the happiest day of my life”. Will the nation truly echo this on 1st June 2013, and who is to blame…….?Mau Mau, the movement that Dedan Kimathi led, is in itself little understood, despite it’s distinguished prominence in Kenya’s history. Very few people for instance, know of the tactics employed by Mau Mau in the freedom struggle, and even fewer have bothered with this aspect of our history, despite the fact that Mau Mau was the key reason that a State of Emergency was declared on 20th October 1952, and one of the key reasons that Britain became ever more keen on speeding up and granting political independence to it’s colonies in Africa. For instance, Great Britain initially intended to grant independence to Kenya in 1973.Why do we now have a grand statue of a great Kenyan on Nairobi’s Kimathi street, yet we have next to no understanding of who he was and what he stood for, and even less, of the movement he led……? Why are many Kenyans able to describe the effective “Cow Horn” military tactics employed by revered 19th century South African Zulu leader Shaka, yet we know nothing of the Mau Mau tactics that sent shock waves amongst the British, both here and abroad……? This is further complicated by the fact that several individuals belonging to Kimathi’s generation, have gone to their rest.Why were Kenyans so easily duped into believing that Kimathi’s rival for leadership in Mau Mau, Gen. Stanley Mathenge, was alive and well in neighbouring Ethiopia, only for the hoax to be played out in very shameful, humiliating and depressing circumstances in the year 2003? Do we really care for the truth? Do we really care for our heritage? Do we really care for posterity? Do we really care for anything?It is in this respect Sir, that I humbly suggest that your Government constitute a national committee on this country’s history, to address many of these serious flaws and misgivings in our country’s short history. I suggest that this be done by way of a legal notice in the Kenya Gazette. I further suggest that the said national committee on Kenya’s history be given a five year mandate and far reaching powers, to gather, collate and document any and all information related to this country’s past, in bid to define ourselves and our heritage better, and in a bid to build Kenya into a socio-cultural destination of choice, for both ourselves and the outside world. This should be a national undertaking aimed at addressing issues in and amongst all 42 communities in this country.Kenyans from all walks of life, of all ages and from all corners of this country, should be allowed to submit what can be regarded as “secrets” and/or “long withheld information” to this committee, “or forever hold our peace”. Time is running out, and we must work very hard to make up for large amounts of lost time and opportunities, and bequeath a tangible heritage to our descendants.This would be an expensive undertaking, whose members must be challenged with the added task of attracting partnerships, support, technical expertise and funding, in a joint venture to involve the Kenya Government, and outside partners, such as the BBC World Service. Depending on the dedication, discipline, commitment and how well the process is managed, the venture can partly culminate in the production of a full feature comprehensive documentary on Kenya’s freedom struggle in it’s entirety, similar to the award winning documentary on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth”, which had the backing of no less than former US Vice President Al Gore, who describes himself as “I used to be the next president of the United States”, in the globally acclaimed award winning documentary. This would have an extremely favourable image on Kenya’s image both here and abroad.In this respect, I further humbly suggest that the proposed committee be chaired by Ramogi Achieng Oneko, the last remaining surviving member of the famous pre-independence sextet imprisoned by the Colonial Government at the infamous Kapenguria trial.Despite his advanced age, Ramogi Achieng Oneko continues to be active in public life, a profound statement of the goodwill he harbours for this country and it’s future. He stands out prominently on national days and was even present at the inauguration of Dedan Kimathi’s Memorial monument on 18th February 2007, where he delighted the gathering with events of yesteryear. He has a wealth of experience in a multiplicity of fields including diplomacy and administration, and his role in chairing such a high profile committee would accord it the desired credibility, desired goodwill, desired impetus and desired allure to outside partners and funding. I am certain that Ramogi Achieng Oneko would be more than willing to once again serve this country and it’s people, in such a distinguished and important role. I am able to write you this letter Sir for instance, because of the crucial role played by the likes of Ramogi Achieng Oneko in this country’s history.The committee must also be partly comprised of at least eight highly regarded national individuals, one each from Kenya’s eight provinces. It would be preferable if politicians were allowed no role at all in the proposed committee, Sir. In their place Sir, should be numerous local private sector companies/representatives, who continue to play a very useful high profile role in community affairs nationwide.Election year or no election year Sir, the truth of this country’s history must be told and documented in an accurate and comprehensive way, and should not be allowed continued existence in it’s current shallow, unhelpful and distasteful form. Kenya’s current state of socio-cultural affairs are a heinous shame, crime and disservice to itself, and humanity in general.Why should we take pride in quoting medieval history from other parts of the world, when we cannot sensibly reconstruct and document our history, for periods as recent as fifty years ago? Why should we take tremendous pride in quoting from the Holy Bible, and yet fail miserably in emulating those that made it possible for us to have the Holy Bible and it’s rich teachings in the first place?These are serious soul searching questions that we must ask ourselves Sir, as we chart out this country’s destiny and it’s future. When the BBC does the Golden Jubilee independence feature on Kenya in 2013, let it proudly stand out.Sir, I thank you once again for the important step that you and your Government have taken in re-defining our past and future. There is no future, if we do not recognise the past. Yours faithfully, VALENTINE KIBURI WA NGEERA


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Vision and Mission

Vision and Mission Vision and Mission of Public Service Commission of Kenya VISION A partner in creating a non - partisan Public Service that offers quality service and holds the nation together for socio-economic growth MISSION To avail a steady supply of highly competent human resources for efficient and effective service delivery to the people of Kenya CORE VALUES -Meritocracy -Reliability -Team Spirit -Integrity - Confidentiality -Fairness <> [ Back ]


God made a beautiful world and man dorminated it to the worst



This picture fits the Kenyan politicians very well

KENYA - STATE OF CORRUPTION REPORT (ISSUE NO. 2) Centre for Law and Research International (CLARION) Published by Claripress Limited, Nairobi on behalf of Centre for Law and Research International (CLARION) (c) Copyright Centre for Law and Research International (CLARION) 2001 First Published 2001 ISBN 9966-915-36-2 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilised in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopy recording or by any information storage and retrireview system without permission in writing from the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and articles and for educational purposes. Typeset by: Hussein Khalid and Winnie Nyawira on behalf of Centre for Law and Research International (CLARION) P.O Box 46991 00100 Nairobi, Kenya Printed by: Birds Printers, Office Stationery & Equipment Ltd. P.O Box 48238 00100 Nairobi Kenya __________________________ CONTENTS Acknowledgement...............................................................iii Preface.......................................................................iv SECTION ONE: ACKNOWLEDGEMENT CLARION acknowledges the assistance of the following persons in preparation of this report: Morris Odhiambo Gachukia Nyaga Jackson Mwalulu Ife Matoya Kivutha Kibwana Smokin Wanjala Lawrence Mute Hussein Khalid Winnie Nyawira Sammy Wambua This publication was made possible with the kind financial assistance of the Danish International Development Agencey (DANIDA) PREFACE The big picture of corruption in present Kenya tells us that corruption is so endemic that it will require extraordinary action to reduce it to manageable levels. The small picture too tells us as important a story. Grand corruption, which is manifested by grand looting of state coffers has to be understood alongside the ostensible "small time" corruption, which is the continual everyday affliction of ordinary citizens. This report provides instances of "big time" as well as "small time" corruption. Corruption in relation to land has in the last many years affected a great number of poor Kenyans who merely wished to be left alone to till or graze their one or two acres of land. This report uses Mikilulo Ranch in Kibwezi to show how powerful people already owning huge tracts of land have employed a combination of politics, law and pure brute force to leave many Kenyans landless. The question, then, becomes whether and how these Kenyans will be compensated and whether and how land grabbers will be brought to book. As Kenya's anti-corruption institutions (whether they be the courts or the Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority) continue to be ineffectual or in limbo, these are questions, which obviously require quick answers. This report also makes comment on the state of corruption in Nairobi City Council as well as exploring lessons, which Kenya can borrow from the relative presence or absence of corruption in other countries. Lawrence Mute Smokin Wanjala Kivutha Kibwana SECTION ONE: INCIDENCE OF REPORTED CASES OF CORRUPTION DURING THE PERIOD AUGUST-OCTOBER 2000 The Report of the Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Select Committee1, the Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Bill and the Mbogua Report2 on corruption at City Hall, dominated media debate on the vice during the period August-October 2000. As a matter of fact, the Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Bill was a product of the Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Select Committee.3 The Kombo report, as the report of the Parliamentary Committee came to be popularly known (named after Hon. Musikari Kombo, the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Corruption and Webuye Member of Parliament), looked at incidences of corruption in Kenya holistically. The Mbogua team, on the other hand, looked at corruption specifically at City Hall. The Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Bill was published by the Attorney-General Hon. Amos Wako following intense donor pressure on the KANU government to do something about rampant official theft as a sina qua non for aid resumption. While the merits and demerits of the Bill attracted substantial attention, what riveted public focus more is what has come to be known as the 'List of Shame'. This refers to the list of the personalities named by both the Kombo and Mbogua reports. These are mostly state/KANU operatives, their relatives and close friends, who have over the years looted public coffers and grabbed public land with impunity. The Kombo report borrowed heavily from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Public Investments Committee (PIC) and the Auditor and Controller General reports. Still, it made a dramatic impact thanks to two factors: one, it was the product of the August House, by the August House. The parliamentary anti-corruption body was formed in 1998, following a successful motion moved by Hon. Kombo himself. Two, it reads like an inventory of who is who in President Daniel arap Moi's government. Minister for Tourism, Commerce and Industry, Nicholas Biwott, found himself cornered when his name, together with that of vice president George Saitoti, was linked with a Ksh850million Soya beans scandal. The story alleges that the two top government officials misled the government to invest in a soya beans processing factory at the Coast province against expert advice that the project was not viable. The project ended up in the long list of Kenya's white elephants. The report also named president Moi's son, Gideon Moi, in connection with duty evasion on imported Mercedes Benz cars amounting to Ksh30million. Minister for Water Development, Kipng'eno arap Ng'eny, was accused of fleecing the Kenya Posts and Telecommunication of Ksh86 million when he was the corporation's managing director in the '80s. Office of the President ministers Julius Sunkuli and William Ole Ntimama were mentioned in relation to cases of land grabbing. To rub it in, the Kombo team recommended that those named in the report be not only investigated and prosecuted by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority (KACA), but also be barred from seeking and/or holding public office. However, during these times of a charged political atmosphere, the personalities named in the report chose to politicise the whole affair, reading succession politics and tribalism in the document. Once the media got hooked to this line of thought, the movers and shakers at the corridors of power proceeded to marshal parliament's support to dilute the Kombo report. The eighth parliament, thanks to the combined strength of both Kanu and NDP legislators, opted to delete the list of shame from the report. Matters were not helped by the fact that a significant number of the 222 MPs, among them members of the probe committee, either absented themselves or abstained when it came to voting. The voting was an event in itself4, and was accompanied by much name-calling; allegations of bribery right inside the chambers, and, to cap it all, a fistfight between two members. It also came to be seen as a KANU against opposition parties' affair, with the cooperation between the ruling party and the National Democratic Party taking a lot of flak. It is interesting that in deed, some NDP parliamentarians voted against the adoption of the report simply because of the cooperation/partnership business. It is even more interesting that the party's leader, Raila Odinga, opted to walk out of the House just before the vote. The ensuing public outcry was deafening, as Kenyans expressed shock that their representatives, watchdogs if you like, had turned around to endorse high level theft of public funds. Rangwe MP Shem Ochuodho, perhaps captured the public mood perfectly well when he characterised his colleagues who abstained as fence sitters and challenged them to tell Kenyans why they missed the crucial vote 1 The Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Select Committee was set up in 1998, following the passing by parliament of a resolution that was tabled by the Hon. Musikari Kombo the Member of Parliament for Webuye constituency. The text of the resolution read as follows: "THAT, while appreciating that the Government's effort to stamp out corruption both in public and private sectors and noting with concern that rampant corruption has become so pervasive that it threatens any further socio-economic development and the future of the country; aware that corruption has become so entrenched that the existing legal framework under the Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap. 65) and the Anti-Corruption Authority are not adequate to significantly reduce it or eradicate it; and noting further that corruption has kept away potential investors, and eroded the good image of Kenya; this House resolves to set up a Select Committee to study and investigate the causes, nature, extent and impact of corruption in Kenya; identify the key perpetrators and beneficiaries of corruption; recommend immediate effective measures to be taken against such individuals involved in corruption and recover public property corruptly appropriated by them and the enactment of a Bill to provide for stiff penalties on all corruption related offences..." (Report of the Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Authority, Vol.1 at p. 25) 2 The Mbogua Report was presented to the Local government Minister, Joseph Kamotho in March, 2000, but apparently the Minister was not keen on making its contents public. The Minister appointed the probe team to investigate corruption in the civic authority due to glaring inability to offer services to city residents. (See also Section 5 of this issue for a comprehensive insight into corrupt practices in the City Council) 3 The Parliamentary graft committee recommended the enactment of the Bill to repeal the existing Prevention of Corruption Act - Cap 65, Laws of Kenya - to "provide a comprehensive framework and more effective legal machinery" for dealing with corruption and economic crimes. The Bill also aimed at broadening the powers of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Authority (KACA), and establishing an Anti- Corruption and Economic Crimes Court, ostensibly to speed up the hearing of cases currently held up as a result of the backlog in the judiciary. 4 Thus The People Daily, 20 July, 2000, for instance, under the title: "The list of shame: How your MP voted" carried a report of how Members voted in this obviously controversial issue. According to the report those who voted for the adoption of the report excluding the list of shame included: George Anyona (KSC), the mover of the controversial amendments, Adhu Awiti (NDP), Peter Kyalo Kaindi (SDP), Otieno Kajwang (NDP), Jonesmus kikuyu (SDP). Others were Peter Odoyo, Paul Otita, Oloo Oyula, Maryam Matano, (all of NDP), Suleiman Shakombo (SPK), Elias Barre Shill and Adan Keynan Wehliye of Safina. The KANU MPs who voted against the motion were Nyachae, M.A. Galgallo, Cyrus Jirongo, Suleiman Kamolleh, Kipruto arap Kirwa, Peter Maundu, Odongo Away and Wyclife Osundwa. The rest of those who voted for the removal of the names include: Mohammed Affey, Amukowa Anangwe, Moody Awori, Mohammed Badawy, Nicholas Biwott, Yussuf Chanzu, Kiptum Choge, G.B.Galgallo, Bonaya Godana, Fred Gumo, S.Kajembe, F. Kalulu, J. Kalweo, A. Karauri, R. Kiluta and J.N. Kimkung. Others were R. Kitur, R. Kochalle, T. Kofa, H. Kosgey, J. Koske, F.K. Lagat, S.P. Lenges, J.T. Leting, C. Lomada, F. P. Lotodo, M. Madoka, J.K. Maizs, J.K. Marrirmoi, F.O. Masakhalia, D. Mbela, S. Mkalla, H.M. Mohammed, M.A. Mohamud, C. Mokku, E.T. Morogo, S. Muchilwa and Musalia Mudavadi. The motion was also endorsed by J.J. Mugala, D. Musila, S. K. Musyoka, M. Mwachai, J. Mwakalu, G. Ndambuki, K.A. Ng'eny, A. M. Nooru, S.K. Ntutu, E.M. Ntwiga, J.W.N. Nyaga, F. Nyenze, C. Okemo, S.K. Rotich, I. Ruto and Saitoti. Legislators M.H. Salim, John Sambu, W.R. Samoei, K.M. Sang, D. Sankori, A.T. Sasura, I.A. Shaaban, M. Shidiye, M.C. Sirma, D.K.S. Sudi, J. Sunkuli, A. H. Wako, J.P. Wamukoya, Yussuf Haji, J.J. Kamotho, Z. Kittony and Mark Too also supported the removal of the names. Those who resisted the removal of the names include: Owino Acholla, Peter Oloo Aringo, W.O. Ayoki, J. Donde, N. Gatabaki, P.G. Gitonga, Ngenye Kariuki, M. Karua, N.Kathangu, M. Katuku, M. Kereri, D. Khamasi, Mwai Kibaki, J. Kibicho, and P. Kihara. Others were: M. Kituyi, M. Kiunjuri, M. Kombo, N. Kulundu, E. Magara, C. Mbitiru, M. Michuki, P. Mageke, B. Mugo, J. Munyasia, J. Muihia, P. Muiruri, D. Murathe, C. Murungaru, K.M. Muriuki, D.M. Mutahi, P.G. muya, O.K. Mwangi, D. Mwiraria and A.M. Nderitu. Charity Ngilu, P.N. Ndigwa, D.M. Njuki, H.O. Obwocha, W.O. Omamo, James Orengo, Soita Shitanda, L. Sifuna, G. Sunguh, J.N. Toro, A.M.W. Wamunyinyi, M. Waithaka, M. Wamae, Kijana Wamalwa, R.B.S. Wanjala, N.M. Wekesa, J.K. Munyao, P.A. Nyong'o and Tabitha Seii, also resisted the removal of the names. The deputy speaker, Job Omino did not vote either way since he was in the chair, though he could have been called to vote either way in the event of a tie. The remaining 73 MPs failed to turn up for the vote, with some walking out only moments before the voting time. Raila Odinga, the NDP leader, whose party is cooperating with the ruling party KANU, is one of those who walked out before taking the vote *************** George Ayittey,




Kenyan MPs work for an average of 90 days a year, which is far less than any other professionals in the world. This year, Parliament was scheduled to be in session for only 24 weeks, meaning MPs spent the bulk of the year on holiday, despite being among the highest paid cadre of workers. But proposed new rules, which could come into force after the current Parliamentary session, could change all that. Members of Parliament observe a minute of silence in honour of their colleagues who died in a plane crash in Marsabit early this year. Parliament reopens on Tuesday. File PictureThe rules would set Parliamentary sessions to run from February 1 to the end of November each year. This means MPs would have a three-month vacation, still considerably longer than that enjoyed by legislators elsewhere. Congressmen in the US, for example, are entitled to only three weeks holiday every year. Currently, the Parliamentary calendar runs for between 23 to 28 weeks, with sessions being held for only three days each week. Kenyan Parliament based on British model Said former Butere MP, Mr Martin Shikuku: "It is a complete absurdity for our MPs to spend all their time on vacation. The West is way ahead of us economically. To catch up with them, we need to work harder, not spend all our time resting. This system has to change." The Kenyan Parliament is based on Britain’s Westminster model. And the system allows for generous holidays for members and an exceptionally lax working schedule. MPs sit only on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and work a full day on Wednesday. This translates into a 15-and-a-half hour working week. British MPs, however, work a full day on Wednesday. This translates into a 15-and-a-half hour working week. British MPs, however, work longer hours than their Kenyan counterparts. Sessions in the UK sometimes go well past midnight and they can deliberate round the clock when there are crucial matters for discussion. The 15-and-a-half hour week for Kenyan MPs is far less than that of any other professionals in the country. Teachers and civil servants, for example, typically put in 56 hours of work every week. They are only entitled to 30 days holiday every year, in sharp contrast with legislators. Proposed minimum reforms This system could finally be changed before the end of November. Under a package of changes originally drafted by Nominated MP Mr Oloo Aringo and later incorporated into a Bill tabled in the House by MP Mr Charles Keter, Parliament would take control of the House Business calendar from the President. A key proposal would be to ensure Parliament stays in session longer than it does currently. The changes, however, would be packaged in the proposed minimum reforms to be tabled by the Parliamentary Committee on Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs, chaired by Kabete MP Mr Paul Muite. The Government side views these changes with suspicion, however, and it is unclear whether consensus would be found on the reforms package. On Monday, both the Government of National Unity and the Opposition Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya held separate meetings in readiness for what is expected to be a highly charged and divisive session. The minimum reforms package, which contains the new rules on drawing up the House Business calendar, is expected to provide the most intense debate. More months spent on recess than in session According to Aringo, Parliament must pass the reforms if the institution is to retain credibility as an avenue for passing legislation. "The Executive is suspicious of a critical Parliament. That’s why it is in the President’s interest to keep Parliament on recess for as long as possible. This has to change. We must control our own calendar. That way, no one will hold an axe over our heads with the threat of dissolving Parliament," said Aringo. He said it was a disgrace to have Parliament spend more months on recess than in session, and argued taxpayers would benefit from a Legislature that stayed in session longer. The Kenyan Parliament is one of the least effective on the continent. Tanzania’s Parliament passes an average of 40 Bills every year while the Ugandan Parliament passes up to 60 Bills annually. Kenyan MPs, who are the best paid in the region, only pass about 12 Bills every year, most of them mandatory Finance Bills. Record of MPs is dismal One reason advanced for the fact that they do not stay in session longer is the break set aside for committee work. The record of MPs at these sessions is, however, dismal and few yield any meaningful legislation. The low productivity of MPs, said former Law Society of Kenya chairman Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi, raised the question whether the bar for eligibility for MPs should be raised higher than only requiring one to demonstrate literacy. "When you look at the work rate and prominence of such committees as the foreign affairs committee in places like the UK, for example, you realise how toothless our Legislature is as an organ of checking the Executive," he said. "We have developed a culture that if one is to prosper, they have to loot. Parliament has, therefore, been reduced to an institution whose main role is generating then protecting corruption rather than generating legislation." According to Shikuku, a wholesale revision of House rules is long overdue. He would like to see a system where MPs work longer hours. Political scene sharply divided The threshold for quorum should also be raised to at least a quarter of the number of members to avoid a situation where Bills are sometimes passed by as few as 12 MPs. MPs, in addition, should be required to clock in and out, to check against "technical appearances" in the House, a practice made famous by former Opposition leader, Mr Kenneth Matiba. Matiba would only appear in the House for a few seconds to avoid running afoul of House rules, which state that a member loses his/her seat if he/she fails to attend eight consecutive sittings. Matiba’s actions, however, were a protest against what he saw as the illegitimacy of the first multi-party Parliament rather than a product of laziness. With the political scene sharply divided in the run-up to the General Election, it remains to be seen whether Parliamentarians would accept the proposed new rules for setting their calendar, which would see them work a bit harder to earn their hefty remuneration package. Send to friend Print friendly






ODM party members recently accused Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka of playing a high stakes political game, which had seriously affected party unity

Why ODM-Kenya Aborted London Meeting There is plenty of evidence that not everybody at ODM-Kenya is pulling in the same direction. For starters there are the conflicting statements that came out about the planned London trip that has now been cancelled.At first we were told that it was bonding trip so that the party high command can agree on their presidential candidate without self-destructing. Yesterday we were told that the ODM-Kenya team had a full itinerary and bonding sessions would virtually be impossible.The two Kenyan dailies, namely the Nation and the Standard have covered the latest developments in different angle probably reflecting on which side of the divide top editors at the dailies fall. The Standard says the meeting has been cancelled but the Daily Nation says that both Uhuru and Kalonzo amongst others will skip the London rendezvous.It is clear to this writer that the original session involving most of the ODM-Kenya presidential aspirants has been called off.But then there is the question of whether everybody's input was involved in the cancellation of the trip because others went ahead with travel plans. Acting secretary general Anyang Nyongo traveled to London from Nairobi last night while Raila Odinga who was in the United States made his way there from Florida.Insiders whisper that the real reason why the trip was called off was because it was being heavily financed by Gilbert "Miracle babies" Deya. Deya while denying the financing side says that he has been heavily involved in the organization of the trip and posed the question to a journalist yesterday via telephone; "What is wrong with that?"Apparently some self-righteous ODM luminaries felt that the trip was a PR disaster if the main organizer was going to be Deya. Or was somebody trying to slight Raila Odinga who is said to be very close to the miracle babies bishop? This blogger has had evidence of a relationship of sorts between Deya and one Kalonzo Musyoka, (see this photo that was posted on the web long before the miracle babies saga came to light). If you want to see where the photo was originally posted online (click HERE)It seems that the Bishop is playing politics to help him stay out of prison—at least Kenyan prisons that is, which is nothing new, a vast majority of Kenyan politicians have successfully used this strategy for years now.But even stranger is the fact that those talking about the possible PR disaster of a Deya-organized trip have done things that are equally criminal, if not more so because of the huge number of Kenyans that will be affected for a very long time by their actions of sheer greed.Even more interesting is the fact that the British government is now slowly tightening the noose in shutting out persons who have been involved in corruption and mega scandals I the past from entering Britain. Which raises yet another even more interesting question; what would happen if Kenyans elected a president who can't get a visa to enter Britain?If it was up to this blogger, I would have used getting to London as part of the elimination process for the ODM presidential candidate nomination. That would have easily cut down the number dramatically because the chances of the following ODM presidential candidates getting a visa to enter Britain are very slim indeed; William "YK92" Ruto, Musalia "Goldenberg" Mudavadi, Mutula "Various corrupt mega deals" Kilonzo.Interestingly Ruto was lucky enough to have been granted a visa last year, but the noose is now rapidly tightening and chances are that by the end of the year half the guys most Kenyans are rooting for president (in both ODM and Narc-Kenya may not be able to get a Visa to enter most European countries and the United States. Some presidential candidates we have in Kenya. Urgent Personal Message To You From KumekuchaWeekend special: Kenyan beauty complains to Kumekucha about her Kikuyu lovers. posted by chris at 1:16 AM 3 Comments: Anonymous said... Chris,There is this unsubsantiated story I have heard that the ODM-K spokesperson made a mountain of money (the fee apparently ran in to hundreds of millions of shillings) by helping the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha's family launder their legendary petro-dollars... heard that one? 2:34 AM Anonymous said... Chris, I have alot of respect for politics as a shapers of the public that we live in. The ODM rally in London was a non-starter in the first place. Look at the ODM set-up in London. Are they some nonentities in kenya politics who were just hungry for publicity? They have been collecting money from people willing to attend. ODM is not even a registered association under the Charities Commission, anybody willing to crush it needs no effort. They are collecting money clandestinely!I said it last week in London and I was called all names. Most of then obscene to print.Then Deya. When Raila Odinga was in London in October, I said it and even told him personally that it was a PR disaster to have been entertained by Gilbert Deya. It was also unfortunate that he went and knelt at the Gilbert Deya Ministries to be prayed for and 'anointed' as the next Kenyan president. Now, it was the disaster that was waiting to happen that it came from a very different source, proves many right. It is true that Deya is playing politics to avoid being deported by hugging the opposition politicians and secondly trying to avoid charges when Raila becomes president. It is unclean to associate with Deya.Politicians you hear? That is why the trip was going to fail and wait for the after-shocks. After all those who pay for these events are mostly supporting NARC-K openly. They will be devastating!!! 7:02 AM Taabu said... ODM-K's London trip that never was is just the miracle that Kenyans needed to unearth the quicksand on which they anchor their political hopes. Right from the organizers to the guests, the whole thing was a disaster that occured before its conception. They had danced themselves lame before the music started and now all they to show for it is tonnes of eggs splashed on their faces. Shame on them.Behind this facade lurks the unpleasant Kenyan culture of aspiring to belong to a class, political and/or economic/social. The ODM-K leaders wanted to set themselves a side as special Kenyans whose self-manufactured problems can only be solved within earshot of the queen. Speak of colonial mindset. These are chaps out of touch with reality wasting funds that they would better invest in saving lives of starving Kenyans. But alas, you can't preach to the converted, can you?Seeing Kalonzo bandying high-sounding words in accusing unknown shadows who have hijacked ODM-K betrays his lyrical waxing las weekend in Western when he chose to prematurely offer unsolicited news on the London bonding.Boy, don't sharks have a sharp nose for blood? Trust Deya to smell an opportunity a mile a way to invest in prospective immunity. Mudavadi deserves a medal for being prophetic to cleverly evade embarassment - he knew he had no chance and Ruto can't put a spin on the backlash. ODM-K leadership must sober up and stop being let by the nose with euphoria and emotions. A deep reflection would have prompted them to soul-search to see the embarassment in advance. Now they have been hangen out both individually and severally to dry. Product of premature campaign and plastic confidence? We need not bother nor wait for time to tell. They have fattally shot themselves in the foot and their goose is as good as cooked and digested. 8:01 AM




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2007 (45)
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In other words?????
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KNN is a news outlet ready to tell the world what kind of people have been transvesing the globe begging for resources to destabalize Kenya. These same people looter the Kenyan reources during the rule of Daniel Moi and statched their loots in the western capitals where currently they are runing to beg those poor Kenyan who went into economic and political imposed on them.


The jurry is out
No more lies no more gimmicks.

Doctor : What happened to your arm? Oludhe : I broke it. Doctor : Where and How did that happen? Oludhe : Okey. It was a normal Saturdayafternoon.I was on the secondfloor balcony of that my house in Karen, not the one in Lavington sip... Doctor : Is that where you broke your arm,the balcony? Oludhe : No no ... I was sipping that my scotchwhisky slowly... you know my son recently came from the UK and he brought me some blue label. Anyway... as I continued sipping, I realised thatthe sun's rays were not getting directly to me, as the satellite dish was blocking them.Before I could instruct the domestic engineer to automatically turn awaythe dish, my butler James came up the balcony and informed me that there was this call on my social cellular phone . I reminded him to always bring the cellular up instead of calling me. As Ihurried down the marble escalator ... Doctor : I guess that is when you... Oludhe : No, as I was going down I noticed the garage door was open and a car alarm was on. I stopped to check and indeed the new model Prado was missing. I knew Mama Akinyi my beautifulsecondwife had taken it. Akinyi is our second daughter, now in Boston USA andis named after my late grand mother, who passed away in 1972 after a sort illness. I havealways warned Mama Akinyi never to use the 4 by 4 on weekends, because of the recent spate of car-jackings. I alwaysadvise her to either use the Mercedes 230E or the BMW 325I which are notvery attractive for thugs. That reminds me, I will have to tell mysecretary to call "car-track " first thing on Monday - Jowa! I need to update my mobility inventory with them.So as I was saying.... Doctor : (With some laughter) Yes Mr Oluthe, car theft incidences are rising and it is becoming a dangerous place. But how did you break your arm? Oludhe : Yes I was coming to that. On my way to pick the cell tel I heard a hissing sound. I stopped to check where it was coming from. Ahh,it was from the bathroom. Mama Akinyi, for some reason, had left theJacuzzi on. Luckily the temp and speed were at the minimum. I usually recommend such speed and temp so that we do not overload the UPS support system , especially when our son's home theatre system is on . Doctor : Mr Olu... Oludhe : Just wait... So I when I picked up the phone, I said Hello, Hello...Hello, but nothing. I became upset becauseI think the caller from state house had disconnected, I cant understand why he didn't leave a message after the beep.All my un-answered calls including the car mobiles are automatically redirected to a CAMS system. Doc, a CAMS is a"Central Answering Machine System". Anyway, on my way back I did notnotice the protruding wire from the satellite dish.I had on many occasions told MultiChoice to send in a qualified technician ... Doctor : ...is that where you tripped? Oludhe : No, as I was avoiding the wire, I tripped on theMultichoice 250 channel decoder and fell on the 200 year old classical familypiano.......... Doctor : Thank you. Such an expensive trip will cost you only 850. Oludhe: hands over the money excitedly...) Doctor: Not Kenya shillings, Dollars! Oludhe : Aii....yawa.....then I shall write you a cheque drawn from my overseas account with Fast Boston Bank Massachussets....you can not go wrong on that one omera.




ODMKenya signifies this
They should not think Kenyans don't know what they are after!

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